Ann Romney in spotlight on her birthday
April 16th, 2012
01:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Ann Romney in spotlight on her birthday

(CNN) – Ann Romney has been no small part of her husband's presidential bid, and the campaign marked her 63rd birthday on Monday with a web video.

The three-and-a-half minute tribute is a collage of family photos combined with audio of the Romneys – Mitt and Ann, as well as several of their 5 children and a few of their 16 grandchildren.

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Text on the video highlights several of her roles: a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a survivor - of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Romney describes an emotional moment, presumably when his wife learned of one of those life-changing diagnoses.

"Probably the toughest time in my life was standing there with Ann as we hugged each other and the diagnosis came," he said. "She's a remarkable woman, and she's gone through some tough times. She had diagnosis of MS. She's had breast cancer, and my feelings and passion for Ann haven't changed in the slightest over the years other than they've become stronger."

There are other sincere moments, too - "Isn't he a sweet baby," Mitt asks, and Ann responds, "Sweet baby" - and a collection of lighter highlights.

"Does it taste a little bit like a doughnut or does it taste like a cookie?" she asks one of their grandsons.

"Tastes like a doughnut," is the child's reply.

Token birthday presents aside, on the trail, Ann Romney does play a significant role.

Sometimes she is at her candidate's side, introducing him at rallies and dinners; sometimes she is his surrogate while he campaigns elsewhere.

"Ann and I get together a couple of days each week," he told supporters in a recent web chat. "She goes off in one direction, however, most of the time, I go off in a different direction, and then the boys, the five boys, they've all got jobs, so they can't take off for a month at a time working on the campaign but they give me a weekend here, a weekend there."

She is a digital surrogate, with a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, and, most recently, Twitter. In 2008, she kept a blog on the campaign website.

He also credits her with pushing him to launch this run, his second race for the presidency.

"Ann played a big role in this," he said earlier this month. "Two years ago when we were thinking about this, I said, 'Ann, let's talk about the pros and cons.' She said she wanted me to go back and run again. And I said, 'lets talk about the pros and cons,' and she said, 'talk to the hand. Talk to the hand. You have to run again.' "

When Ann tells the story, she remembers ending the 2008 presidential campaign resolute.

"Four years ago, I knew one thing: I was never going to do this again. I was quite certain of that. Mitt laughs. He says, 'you say that after every pregnancy,' " she recounted at a rally after their win in Puerto Rico was projected.

But the policies of President Barack Obama inspired her to urge her husband to run again, she says.

"We've got to get it right, and that's why I turned to Mitt and said to him, a year ago, 'I am really sorry sweetie, but you have to do this again,' " she continued. "Having been through this I know it's difficult, and I did know that. I went in with my eyes wide open. But the other thing I've learned is not to take it personally. . . ."

She ended up in the political fray last week after Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Romney had "never worked a day in her life."

The comment sparked rebuke from both sides of the aisle, and later Rosen, who is also a CNN contributor, apologized for the remark.

On Monday morning, the Romney's attended a morning game of their hometown Boston Red Sox, and the candidate is to address a tea party group in Philadelphia in the evening.

To make this day on the campaign trail a little more special than the others, Romney said he gave is wife "some gifts this morning - that she picked out, which is the only way I've found to make sure the gifts don't get returned."

Also see:

Obama re-election team increases fundraising haul

Buffett Rule would barely dent debt but fits nicely into Obama's theme

McCain: I agree with Ann Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Mitt Romney
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Constantly Amazed


    Give me Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden or Senator/Secretary of State Hilary Clinton over the Republican Stepford Wives any day.
    Women like Ann Romney, Cindy McCain, Laura Bush, etc., have never had to make the tough decision to go to work outside their homes and raise a family at the same time. When you've always had a "Silver Spoon" and "Unearned Privilege", you can't and don't relate to working women or even stay at home moms in lower to middle income families. If Ann were really smart, she would let this non-issue fade into the background sooner rather than later.
    April 16, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |


    Great comments. Your last sentence says it all. Sometimes people need to let things go and as you stated Mrs. Romney would be wise to let this issue go.

    April 16, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    No one is jealous of the Romneys. I can't think of anyone who says, " Geez, I hate the Romneys for having all that money, and all those houses." Nope. Not a one. Most people I talk to feel a sense of pity or embarrassment for watching their tortured explanations of how they are just like the rest of us. Millionaires as victims seems to be a common thread in the GOP these days, and, like all victim cards, it gets old real fast.

    April 16, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Peggy - TX

    I am not jealouse of Ann, I just think she is child like and franlky I feel sorry for her. No amount of money can buy freedom and freedom requires the ability to make owns own important desisions in life, rather then just being treated as a child,.. a child with children. Also, freedom comes from standing on ones own two feet and supporting oneself brings strength and maturity.... call it the dignity of work ... if you will. Bottom, line, Ann likely does not understand my view point as Ronmey seemed to belive, however, she may adequte represent the view point of Wealty "kept" women ... good for her, I am sure there is a need for such a point of view in politics. Keep the spot light on ANN, it is all the GOP has to try to convience women that they are not at war with Women.

    April 16, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. usedtobeGOP

    Are there any nannies and maids in their pictures? If not, could be they weren't quite legal. We know why there won't be dogs in the pictures, unless they used stuffed ones.

    April 16, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY


    A quick google search will reveal that the Romney's did not have nannies. Jealously is no excuse for ignorance.

    so then let's hear her say that. If not, it's an assumption that it's true.

    April 16, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. george of the jungle

    stop playing the victim. Lots of women have health problems. Im sorry you have ms and had cancer. Thank god you had good health insurance and enough money so that you didn;t loose any of your homes. Many are not so fortunate. without the stress of having to worry how to pay for food utilities healthcare and college many of us would like to have 5 children but we can't afford that not if we want them to eat.

    April 16, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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