With campaign in rearview, Ann Romney says there were mistakes
May 30th, 2013
09:27 AM ET
2 years ago

With campaign in rearview, Ann Romney says there were mistakes

(CNN) – No presidential campaign is perfect, Ann Romney admitted Thursday - even her husband's bid for the White House in 2012.

Speaking solo for the first time since November's election loss, Romney said on CBS she had no personal regrets from last year's effort, but conceded there were things everyone would have liked to do differently.

"You'd always love to turn the page back and go back and say, 'Boy, if we had the crystal ball, wouldn't it have been nice to have done things a little differently.' But I still think, you know, every campaign makes mistakes. Both sides make mistakes," Romney said on "CBS This Morning."

In 2016, the Romneys have an early eye on Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman and the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, to run for the top spot.

"Mitt and I are always very, very partial to Paul Ryan. We don't know if he's going to run," she said, adding she doesn't feel any animosity toward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for touring storm damage with President Barack Obama a week ahead of Election Day.

Romney was an active – and she said enthusiastic - campaigner for her husband last year, appearing at events in battleground states aimed at women voters. Many saw her role as providing a most textured, human element to Mitt Romney, a former businessman and governor of Massachusetts.

She delivered a well-received speech on the first day of August's Republican National Convention in Tampa, using the high profile platform to present herself and her family as normal, relatable Americans, despite their enormous wealth.

And she spoke openly and honestly about her health battles, including the multiple sclerosis she was diagnosed with in 1998. Her stories about Mitt Romney's caring response to her illness were some of the most personal details revealed about the candidate on the trail.

Throughout the campaign, Ann Romney consistently suggested her husband wasn't being fairly portrayed by Obama's campaign and the media, and she renewed those assertions Thursday.

Asked why her husband fared so poorly among women voters, Romney cited "the negative nature of the campaign, characterizing my husband as a sort of more ruthless businessman."

And she linked what she saw as a growing distrust in government – seen most recently in the tax-exempt scandal at the Internal Revenue Service – to the bitter, negative nature of political campaigns.

"There's so much negativity involved. It's hard to know who's telling the truth," she said. "There's this trust thing. Who do we trust, who do we turn to."

The Romney family first began realizing they could lose the race around 6 p.m. on election night, she said Thursday.

"Exit polls weren't terrific and at about 8 o'clock the panic button was pressed," she said. "I don't even know what time we gave the concession speech, 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock, but we all, as you might imagine, had expected to win, and so it was not the best day."


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Mitt Romney
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. J'cincinnati'Redd

    Your hubby was the wrong man for the job. How could anybody loose to OBAMA, with the record that he had is crazy

    May 30, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Mistake #1 – Self-serving, opportunistic nihilism

    Mistake #2 – Lying about it by pretending to have an ideology and platform

    May 30, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    Asked why her husband fared so poorly among women voters, Romney cited "the negative nature of the campaign, characterizing my husband as a sort of more ruthless businessman."
    --------------

    the "47%" comment. "My $77000 horse needs care and is a tax deduction" "We released all the returns you people deserve" and on and on so spare us Ann. You and Flip are NOT relatable to real people so forget it. Go back to your car elevator and Cadillacs and leave us alone.

    May 30, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The Romney family first began realizing they could lose the race around 6 p.m. on election night, she said Thursday."

    Our entire government is now being run by less than stellar pollsters and their contol of questions and how questions are being asked and then trumped up as "50% of Americans blah, blah, blah". Clearly, if the Romney family thought they had even a remote shot at winning, they along with the pollsters who fed them one bad poll after another, were living in lala land. And just as clearly, they deserved to lose. The signs of a loss were there LONG before election night.

    Eventually even the media will have to admit they can't continue to try and run a dialog that isn't being well received in America.

    A little over half of Americans don't vote. If they are being included in polling to run a narrative, that narrative is already useless because their opinion doesn't matter on election day. They won't be voting to begin with. Yet, the media DOES include their opinions time and again to run a narrative the media wants run. And ends up with mud on its face time and again when the narrative isn't what "50% of voters" think is important to THEM.

    Yeah, I know. Weeks before election, we start hearing about "likely voters' and "register voters".

    May 30, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "You'd always love to turn the page back and go back and say, 'Boy, if we had the crystal ball, wouldn't it have been nice to have done things a little differently."
    ------------------------------------------------
    There was no taking back those 47% comments. He meant what he said and said what he meant. That foot in mouth syndrome was Willard's undoing.

    May 30, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    The biggest mistake would have resulted in Willard being elected. So sorry Queenie.

    May 30, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Ben

    Come on Mrs Romney. You guys only figured you would lose around 6pm on election day? Many of us knew you guys were toast long before that. The president didnt bring his A game for the first debate and your husband's campaign tried to present momentum when it really didn't exist. You guys refused to present tax returns, the off-shore accounts, the cooporations are people stance, the lying ads in Ohio, the war on women, the war on government while at the same time wanting to lead the government, and ah yes- the 47% video (guess that number was just prophesy because your husband garnered 47% of the vote). I will maintain that 2012 would have and should have been a good year for republicans, but their standard bearer was lowsy and detached from from people. Mitt was dishonest and viewed the white house more like an entitlement than guininely caring for the people. I recall Mrs Romney's own words..."Now its our turn." Americans were smart to see through the hate and disdain for our president, but rest assured that the political electorate in this 21st century is nothing like the 1900s. For a republican to occupy the white house, it would have to mean democrats and moderates staying home and opting not to vote. Lastly, I have to say this "Hillary 2016"

    May 30, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. No Tea for me

    Such as Willard hiding behind Queen Ann's skirt, and lying about trust funds, and hiding a full 10 years' worth of returns, and "you people", and 47% and......

    May 30, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. plain&simple

    "Not being fairly portrayed"?? Please tell me who in politics is "fairly portrayed". Haters on the right and haters on the left....it's going to get worse before it gets better. When Americans finally decide to cut through the vitriol animosity and elect people with a commitment to understanding and making this a unified nation..Then is when we become a better people.

    May 30, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Evergreen

    Mistake No. 1: Not producing his tax returns.

    May 30, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. enuffss

    First off, how can anyone be resentful of PRESIDENT Obama visiting New Jersey? Is it because of the timing of the storm right before elections? He also visited Oklahoma, so show me a difference. Second, most women are in the 47 percent they chose to wipe their feet on. You know..."you people" who cannot relate to a tax deduction on a dressage horse in the Olympics in London...oh, there is that pesky IRS thing again.

    May 30, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. ja

    the mistakes were the audacity not to represent women, and the masses, civics 101, goverment for the people by the people, government for corporate america exculsively

    May 30, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney had an impossible task since he had to appeal to ideological and social conservatives in his party. This prevented him from moving towards the middle of the political spectrum to appeal to moderates, independents, minorites, and women voters. Looking at the current field of Republican candidates, a 2016 Republican presidential win appears unlikely.

    May 30, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Biggest mistake: Your husband revealing again and again and again how out of touch with the American people he is:

    47% of us are moochers (that includes active and retired military, seniors, the disabled and students)

    Want to start a business? Just borrow a couple mil from your daddy!

    I'm pro-choice, I'm anti-choice, I dodged the Viet Nam War, I wanted to serve, I believe in transparency, you can only see two years of tax returns

    Etc., etc., etc., etc. ....

    May 30, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Yanni

    "I don't even know what time we gave the concession speech, 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock, but we all, as you might imagine, had expected to win, and so it was not the best day."
    Rather, It was the best day for USA and the world.

    May 30, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There's so much negativity involved. It's hard to know who's telling the truth," she said. "There's this trust thing. Who do we trust, who do we turn to."
    -------------------------------------------------
    So true.
    This is why we re-elected, overwhelmingly, for President Obama. You suffered a nervous breakdown. And the rest, as they say, is history....and so are you Ann.

    May 30, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. K. in Miami

    The Romneys were actually very hated by the Republican base before and during the Republican primaries, no one talks about this and the reason for it. We all can clearly see even the wife is un-likable, there since of elitism really stinks, they don't really come across as humble and down to earth, am I the only that see it......?

    May 30, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    Don't blame the media Queenie. Your husband was and is a liar that felt he was entitled to the Presidency. He changed stances daily depending on whom he was talking to. You nor him knew anything about regular people. Both of you looked down your noses at anyone that wasn't rich and white. Too bad many of your supporters didn't realize how you people really felt about them.

    The GOP had the nerve to call President Obama arrogant. IMO, arrogance is assuming you are going to win and only writing an acceptance speech.
    Also Anne, I would like to personally thank you for providing me with so much humor on election night. As I watched you and your ilk sobbing over Mitts loss, it gave me such a warm, fuzzy feeling. People lying on the floor in tears was the highlight of my evening behind the butt whooping President Obama put on wittle Mittens.

    Thanks for the memories Queenie.

    May 30, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. king

    its amazing how these repubs say something in public and do something totally opposite, Ann we've been dealing with the repubs for 5 yeas now and we know what to expect from you guys, so any thing you say, the people already expect the opposite, oh and another thing, please tell the repubs congress to start working on the people jobs and stop all these fake outrages over fake scandals.

    May 30, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    using the high profile platform to present herself and her family as normal, relatable Americans, despite their enormous wealth.
    -------------------------------------------------
    So hard to do when you're wearing gold bangles worth a small country's GDP, and $1000 t-shirts.
    Then there was that whole "I'm unemployed too" thingy that your equally disconnected husband tried to make really unemployed people swallow.
    So many examples of why his candidacy with your help Ann was an epic fail from beginning to end.
    The only people that thought that he was going to win were you, him and your horse Rafalca.
    Thanks for playing.

    May 30, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Isn't hindsite great? There were more warning signs that they missed. She said that it was at 6pm on election day that there were signs? Where were they?

    May 30, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. FedSec

    Hmmm...seems she's saying mistakes were made by everyone except the Romney campaign.

    May 30, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Data Driven

    Fine, but 2012 wasn't even close. The GOP will continue to lose these things as long as 1) they continue to promote the same, nasty, extremist attitude on public policy issues and 2) they continue to find ways to alienate the mostly liberal coasts of the country, where most people live. They might win if a Dem is a very bad candidate in the Dukakis or Kerry mode, but that's a slim reed to hang onto.

    May 30, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Canuck

    Romney made the fatal mistake of letting people know what he really thought of them.

    May 30, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. roro

    Awwww – another poor little rich girl.

    May 30, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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