With campaign in rearview, Ann Romney says there were mistakes
May 30th, 2013
09:27 AM ET
8 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. Reggie

    The biggest mistake was running Romney. He has all the personality of a door knob. The wife ain't much better.

    May 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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