October 20th, 2012
08:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Ann Romney shares her MS story with supporters in Florida

(CNN) - Ann Romney opened up about her struggles with multiple sclerosis while speaking Saturday with patrons at a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shared some of her personal experiences when she met a woman who also suffers from the nervous system disease.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"It was really tough on my balance," Romney said. "I couldn't figure out what was going on. That was sort of what was happening. I was trying to figure out what was going on, what was wrong with me."

Romney said she used to play tennis, but "when I got really sick I stopped playing so much."

"I was very coordinated and athletic, and all of a sudden I'm falling and tripping and losing my balance. And being so weak," she said. "And I was like, 'Something's wrong!'"

Romney, 63, is a survivor of both MS and breast cancer.

She was diagnosed with MS in 1998, and said in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger this summer that her husband was an important part of her efforts to regain control of her life.

"Even when I was as sick as that he would curl up in the bed with me," she said. "It was like he was gonna do anything he could do just to say, 'I'm here. You're OK. Just stay right there, and we'll be OK.'"

Mitt Romney also described the couple's meeting with a neurologist after Ann's symptoms became serious.

"It was very clear that she was flunking the examination. She couldn't stand on her right foot without falling over and things like that. (The doctor) stepped out and she began to cry and I welled up tears as well and we hugged each other, and she said, 'Something is terribly wrong,' and I said, 'Yes, but Ann, we can go through anything so long as it's not fatal,'" he recalled.

Ann Romney has said MS and breast cancer would be two of her priorities as first lady if her husband is elected.

Later Saturday, Ann Romney attended a campaign rally in Boca Raton, where her husband and President Barack Obama will meet Monday night in the final presidential debate.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Ryan zeroes in on energy jobs in Pennsylvania

– Poll: Races in Florida, Ohio remains tight after second debate

– Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.

– Sparring over economy in weekly addresses


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Florida
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Jamesrini

    people with wealth usually have health problems ..second epistle of John those that come with out the doctrine don't allow them in your house meaning if they don't come with the Bible don't let them in... Mormons never come with the Bible that come with the book of Mormons written by Joseph Smith even the Jehovah Witnesses come with the Bible Mormons are the only ones not to come to your house with the Bible it's not an. accident that the capital of the United States call the White HOUSE .that means you can vote Mitt Romney in to theWhite House

    October 21, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  2. Kareen

    Sorry Ann is sick, but I am slowly sick of her story. There are many many people much sicker and they don't have the cushioned life as she has, or the insurance and money.

    October 21, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  3. evolved one

    Hard to feel sorry for someone like Anne when there are thousands of MS sufferers who cannot afford to treat their illness.

    October 21, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. Perry

    Now we're going to do the "pity" thing?

    October 21, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  5. eciam

    Nice Story. She has Health Care!
    We all Know Why Rich Americans Put There Money In Off Shore Bank Accounts.
    Mitt Has An Off Shore "Business" a Shell Company, That Does One Thing And One Thing Only, And That's To Hide His True Taxable Income! And America Is Ok With This. Had This Been Obama, OH MY GOD!
    Cayman Is. Accts, Swiss Bank Accts, Shell Company, Afraid To show more than twos of Tax returns.
    "47%ER" For Obama/Biden, Good Luck Pres.

    October 21, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  6. Barbara

    I know BC and MS are hard regardless of how much money you have. But my mom died of cancer in good part because insurance companies stalled diagnostic visits. My friend has MS and her treatment was fine as long as she had private insurance. But since she can no longer work as a nurse her treatment is sketchy at best. Republicans minimize problems with health care as they don't have to deal with the problems like most of us. When you have money you can focus on care. When you don't just when you are weakest you have to fight just to have treatment.

    October 21, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  7. jake

    I'll vote for Romney just to stop Michelle Obama from messing with school lunches. MS & Breast cancer are great priorities for a First Lady, rather than interceding on parental authority trying to make every kid eat tofu and sprouts for lunch.

    October 21, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Joe Plumber

    Sorry, but we've heard this pity party before. Trying to reach women voters with this story is pathetic.

    October 21, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  9. dora

    How does she pay for medical treatments?

    October 21, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  10. Thomas

    As of May 29, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,409 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,928 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    =============
    Ann Romney opened up about her struggles with multiple sclerosis while speaking Saturday with patrons at a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Mitt Romney , five sons , all avoided voluntary military service .

    October 21, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  11. NotFooledByDistractions

    More sympathy mongering from ms. romney. I'd like for her to spend time with a single mom, or any working class woman dealing with ms. Then she'd see a "struggle". Her plays for sympathy make me wretch.

    October 21, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  12. Nameandrea

    Such a courageous and strong woman..I hope everyone sees what she has been thru and how well she handles it..that's the type of 1st lady we need.

    October 21, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. pat from central oregon

    MS is a terrible disease, there's no doubt about it. I have empathy for anyone who has had to deal with it.
    In the case of Ann Romney, however, she has never been without the Cadillac of medical insurance. And, what her insurance won't pay, the Romneys can easily afford on their own. No problems. They will ever have to make a choice between medications or food. She can afford the best treatments, the best care money can buy....whether they be in the USA or in a foreign country.

    While I have empathy for her in that she has having to deal with this disease, I feel much more empathy for average people with it – they could easily have to face the disease without insurance, or marginal insurance, and not have access to the best of the best. And on top of that, lose their homes to pay for the medical bills.

    October 21, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  14. Ralph M

    It is laughable that Ann shares so much about Mitt, except the truth. She's a serial liar and "stepford wife".

    October 21, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  15. Trent

    Very touching. Please show more things like this, that actually help us get to know the candidates as people, rather than all the usual partisan focus-group garbage. Let the candidates tell their life stories and their plans, instead of focusing on whatever they said the other guy did wrong.

    October 21, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. Amer

    Wow..this story makes me think of Romney in a completely new light....im voting for him...NOT..nice try CNN,Romney ...

    October 21, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. Rick1948

    Ooo Ooo please vote for my husband. I'm sick and need your sympathy.

    October 21, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. Name

    We do and say anything to get elected and will sale as to best bidder

    October 21, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  19. Name

    I don't care did she ever work a JOB !

    October 21, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  20. roadkilled

    Whew, I thought she was going to discuss her "Mitt-sicko" story!

    October 21, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  21. de fly

    Ze tears are flowing, like her husband will do anything to win the election. How about doing a strip on Times Square at high noon.
    Bet, you never had to think of where the money was coming from, or how you would support the Tagger et al, while you were being treated by the best of the best.
    You will never have to worry about using vouchers, or balancing the food bill against (non-generic) medication. So while you are pouring out for the sympathy vote, remember you have a car elevator to get you into your home.
    How many Americans with MS can say that?

    October 21, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. Mike H.

    After the election, Mitt can stay home and take care of his wife like a good husband.

    October 21, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  23. enuff

    I'm sorry she has been sick... but she has a way to pay for the necessary treatments and prescriptions. Not all of us have that luxury.

    October 21, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  24. thisisyourbestyear

    Michelle Obamas father died from MS. Let's not play the sympathy game.

    October 21, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  25. the 99%

    Boo hoo. Maybe we can give her tax breaks for her many horses.

    October 21, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8