October 9th, 2012
06:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney on debate inspiration from his father

(CNN) - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday confirmed and elaborated on his wife's disclosure, first to CNN, on how he handles his first moments onstage at a presidential debate.

"I write my dad's name at the top of the piece of paper to remind myself of all that he sacrificed to give me the opportunities I now have," Romney said in the interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, which aired on "The Situation Room."

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"I think about his passion, his passion for the country. Dad was devoted to ideals that motivated him," Romney continued. "I mean, the guy was born in Mexico with nothing when he came to this... country, rose to be head of a car company, a governor."

Romney's wife, Ann Romney, first described her husband's debate stage ritual in a recent interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

"As soon as he gets on stage...he takes off his watch and puts it on the podium...then he writes 'Dad' on the piece of paper," she said.

"And that's amazing, because he loves his dad, respects his Dad," she said of her husband. "Doesn't want to do anything that would not make his father proud... I love the fact that Mitt does that. So he writes that."

In her interview with Borger, Ann Romney also said her husband next makes eye contact with her in the audience.

"He has to find where I am. And- he just- he needs just that connection," she said. "And almost after every answer that he gives, he'll find me in the audience, to see, 'Was that good? Was that okay?'"

After watching video of his wife's interview, Mitt Romney told CNN that "of course I look at Ann every chance I get."

"She's usually looking down," Romney said. "She's usually pretty nervous during the debates, but I look to her to see if she feels like I've done a good job."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kevin Bohn, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. penny wright

    Romney's father revealed 12 years of is tax returns.

    What is Mitt hiding?

    October 10, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  2. myway

    According to interview footage with Mrs. Romney, the mother, she credits US government assistance for helping the family's effort achieving the American dream. These same programs are now under attack by Romney jr in speeches and comments. I guess he wants no one else achieve the American dream.

    October 10, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. Name Tyna

    If only his father's tax returns had inspired him too.....

    October 10, 2012 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  4. Kona

    Too bad he won't follow his father in releasing the same amount of tax returns.

    October 10, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  5. Name

    Romney, don't forget your dad got a hand out

    October 10, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  6. Name jeff

    if george was born in mexico,how could he have run for potus?

    October 10, 2012 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  7. kcgentz

    So his dad would be proud of his constant lying?

    October 10, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  8. ManTex

    Dueling sad dad stories. Why not spend the same time providing the SPECIFICS of MR's supersecret tax plan?

    October 10, 2012 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  9. IceMan

    ...because he doesn't have any sacrifices of his own to recall.

    October 10, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  10. USA

    Mittens & Ryan you have my vote : )

    October 10, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
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