March 21st, 2012
10:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

(CNN) - Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said Wednesday she laughed when she first heard that actor Robert De Niro had used her name in a controversial joke.

“I took it for what it was: a joke,” Romney said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “We take everything so seriously.”

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Earlier in the day, De Niro apologized for making the quip at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. At the event, De Niro mentioned Ann Romney, as well as Callista Gingrich and Karen Santorum, then asked: “Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?"

Newt Gingrich quickly fired off on De Niro, calling on the president to apologize for his supporter’s remarks. The Obama campaign followed up saying the comment was “inappropriate.”

But Ann Romney was all smiles Wednesday night talking about De Niro and arguing that people need to be less serious.

“We’re all overreacting to so many things and making things so difficult, which means we have to watch every single word that comes out of our mouth. We can’t be spontaneous. We can’t be funny.”

She continued: “I'll tell you, in politics the fastest way to get in trouble is make a joke. So I think Robert De Niro just learned that.”

She also pointed to what she described as another, more recent overreaction: The frenzy over a comment made by one of her husband’s advisers Wednesday, comparing the campaign to an Etch A Sketch drawing toy that Romney could shake up and "start all over again" in the fall.

Republican and Democratic rivals alike used the comment to prove Romney would be all-too-willing to abandon his conservative principles in a head-to-head contest with Obama.

Romney downplayed the remark to reporters later Wednesday afternoon, saying in a brief answer that his adviser was simply referring to organizational changes, not policy changes.

His wife, however, called it like she saw it Wednesday night.

“These are the distractions! This is exactly what happens in a campaign,” she said, arguing once again the political world was being overly dramatic. “These are the just the frustrations you have to deal with.”

Morgan jokingly asked if the Romney campaign planned to make the adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, compose a written apology 100 times in an Etch a Sketch as punishment.

“I think that's a great idea,” Romney said, laughing. “We'll have him do that tomorrow.”

Also see:

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Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia

Rubio to headline major South Carolina GOP fundraiser

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

Filed under: Ann Romney • Mitt Romney • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. AimHigh

    That's the best they can come up with, bashing a comment about using an old toy. Romney was right Newtorum is getting desperate. The sad part is that the comment was very clear to the rest of us, that is drawing up plans to fight republicans in the primary get thrown out when you have to plan how to fight the democrats in the general election.

    March 21, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. The-Least-Unelectable

    Ann should tell that to the millions of Americans who are still suffering the impact of the GOP "trickle down" policies.

    March 21, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. rc0213

    Romney – The liberals' favorite GOP Candidate. Don't vote for Romney. Please tell all your friends to vote, we need a big turnout.
    These are a few reasons why Romney is considered liberal:

    1) Romney created RomneyCare which ObamaCare is based on. Romney said he would repeal ObamaCare. Why would he if he supports RomneyCare, he is not telling the truth.

    2) Most decisions Romney made as Govenor was liberal, not conservative. So, what make you think he will be conservative all of a sudden?

    3) Romney lost to McCain by a landslide last GOP Primary, and McCain lost to Obama by a landslide. So, how is Romney going to win this time?

    4) When Obama wishes Romney well in the election and name calls and villianizes the other candidates, beware!

    5) Have you noticed the mass press and critics have shredded apart every GOP candidate except Romney? That is because they know Romney fits their agenda.

    Please, if you love the USA, vote for anyone but Romney.

    March 21, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |

    of course she wants people to lighten up. she knows she is married to a liar. just like the rest of the world is learning each and every time he opens that big lying mouth.

    March 21, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Sheila

    Ann Romney has so much class!!! A breath of fresh air in all this negativity!!

    March 21, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Common Sense

    You should vote for Mitt just because of Ann! She's awesome!!!!

    March 21, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. Wendilynn

    What a lady. Thank goodness for a sense of humor.

    March 21, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind!

    The wanna be Eva Peron of the United States has spoken, guess the subject is all settled.

    March 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. rokidtoo

    Well said Mrs. Romney.

    March 21, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. Liska

    Anne, Please go ride your horses or go for a spin in your "couple of cads". You and your man are filthy rich and have nasty hearts. You will never live in the WH. You are too removed from the realities of the 99%. You guys make 120,000 $ A DAY ~! You will never be First Lady. BHO 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016 2024. And Mitt seems ingenuous and fake and the sliver spoon attitude is not what the US needs. This is a decisive moment for the country and we will not hand the controls over to Thurston Howell and Lovie....this is a democracy not a plutocracy. And I aim to keep it that way. I took an oath when I joined the army~ to protect the US from enemies both foreign and domestic. You both qualify as the latter.

    March 21, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  11. Satberry

    Who does she think she is.I thought we were in a free country.I am not a child that needs scolding.I can't wait until November.Willard always seems to need protection.

    March 21, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  12. princetrumpet

    Classy lady. Good for her. I look forward to her being first lady.

    March 21, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. Tomo

    If the south had won the Civil War, Romney would have had his slave strapped to the roof of his car rather than his dog!

    March 22, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. Attila, The Hun

    Mittens falls back and sends the "skirt" to try and clean up the mess. Too funny! What are they afraid of that Mittens will make an even bigger gaff?

    March 22, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  15. concerned citizen

    Ann Romney sounds a lot smarter than her husband (just like a case of the Obama).

    March 22, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  16. Common sense grandma

    Say what you will (and my vote still goes to President Obama in November), but Anne Romney always seems to be a sincere and classy woman. She knows the right thing to say. It might be politically motivated, but it soothes rather than grates. Newt and Reverend Ricky could take the hint and learn a thing or twelve from her example.

    March 22, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Who in their right mind would want any Bush endorsement except for maybe the father. The offsprings are nit wits.

    March 22, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. Desmond Sequeira

    What? A Repub with a sense of humour? Something seriously wrong with the GOP. You mean not everybody in it is as pathetic as the Newt? GOOD FOR ANN ROMNEY! The first time she has come across as real. Not a fan of her husband but GOOD FOR HER!

    March 22, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  19. Dixon

    Finally, something I can agree with coming from a Republican. For me, she gives more credibility to her husband.

    March 22, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  20. Voltaire

    Admiral Ann does protest too much. It is clear who wears the pants or jeans in that marriage.

    March 22, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  21. Dominic

    Your husband is the one who needs to lighten up, Ann. Mitt can't even give himself a victory speech without his obsession to bash President 0bama. And you , Ann, make Mitt look too weak too fight his own battles.

    March 22, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  22. Zoe

    Ann, you might help ETCHED-MITT more by strangling Fehrstrom than any of those reporters you have in mind. Will Mitt fire Fehrstrom over the disarterous service he provided to him?

    March 22, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  23. JT

    Can we just for Ann to be President?

    March 22, 2012 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  24. Marcy

    Using De Niro as foil for her clueless husband makes Ann look

    March 22, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  25. Tatianna

    Women who clean houses have it easier than Mrs Romney whenever Willard opens his mouth.

    March 22, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
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