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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: She stole the show in Tampa, and no one knows presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney better. After all, Mrs. Ann Romney has been married to him for 43 years. And earlier tonight, she went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Mrs. Romney, nice to see you.
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mrs. Romney, I heard that you made a video about four years ago in which you said in this personal video -- it says, Mitt, this is for you, sweetheart, I'm never going to do this again.
My question is, how did that go for you? How did you do?
ROMNEY: Well, as you know -- you probably heard me on Leno last night, but Mitt looked at it and he said, Oh, Ann, I don't know, but you say that after every pregnancy. So you know, I don't know Mitt took it as seriously as what I meant it because, you know, Greta, I mean, you've seen a lot of campaigns and you know how hard this is on families.
And when you have someone that you love that's out there, putting himself on the line all the time, you know, you -- you know, it's very hard for families, people that love them so much to see them beaten up so much.
However, Greta, I will tell you that even though I said I would never do it again, I am as committed as a person can be right now because I, along with so many other Americans. recognize what an important election this is and how critical this time is, how many fellow Americans are out of work or struggling. And as you know, women have been hit harder than men by this economy and more women are falling into poverty than men under this economy.
So we're -- we're -- we are seeing -- if you can even call it a recovery -- a jobless recovery. And you know, that is a real concern for my husband and myself, and that's why he's running. He's running because he cares. He understands that a lot of Americans are suffering.
And you know, I trust this guy so completely! I know how good he is at fixing things and turning things around and getting stalled companies going again. He really needs to be the person that gets in there, jump starts this economy, and gets us on a track of recovery.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'm always curious -- I mean, you're a woman who's been very fortunate. I've been very fortunate. There are a lot of Americans been very fortunate. Even the Obamas have been very fortunate. It's what I'm really curious is how -- how do you get that message out to those who haven't been so fortunate? And how do you get them to even believe you, that you have the solution? I think that's always the challenges for candidates.
ROMNEY: Yes, I think -- and I think it's -- you know, in this age of such uncertainty, I -- you know, I think there are problems with trust, with -- with candidates. And so the only thing that I feel like I can do to bring some clarity to the issue is to be able to stand there and be a character witness for my husband, who I know is such a good and decent person, who I've seen throughout our years of marriage always caring for others and being there for others.
He's not the guy that talks about things, he's the guy that does -- and goes out and does things and makes things better. He's -- he's really quite an extraordinary person. And I have grown in my respect for him for his abilities over these years and watching him being able to really turn things around and take some things that are in -- even chaos and fix things.
So I'm very hopeful. Mitt and I are very optimistic about the future if we make a change of course. If we do not make that change of course, there are so many Americans that are going to be pinched more and more and more.
And that's what we're seeing right now is that, you know, gas prices and food prices and -- you know, everything, health care costs, everything is going up. And people's incomes are actually shrinking. So you know, we're -- they're being pulled and pulled and pulled in every direction. And there will not be a change unless we change the leadership in Washington.
VAN SUSTEREN: Much more with Mrs. Ann Romney is just minutes away.
VAN SUSTEREN: We continue with Mrs. Romney.
VAN SUSTEREN: There's also this discussion about gas prices and jobs, but there's a whole other groups of Americans who aren't even up to that level. They don't even have a car to worry about gas prices, or don't even have a job. They're in such great despair. There's a lot of attention on these campaigns by the media, by the Republicans, by the Democrats on the middle class and upper class and the rich class. How do you reach out to the -- I mean, those other sort of lost people in this whole sort of process?
ROMNEY: Well, I think that the most important thing, Greta, you can do is to be aware of it, to be cognizant of the fact that how many people have been left behind. And, you know, there is -- you know, there's no way that we can help these people unless there are jobs for them and there's an opportunity for them.
All of us have ancestors that come to this country with nothing, with absolutely nothing. I know my grandfather did. He came from the coal mines of Wales with not a nickel in his pocket during the depression in 1929. My father came here as a 15-year-old boy with nothing in his pocket. And so I know that there's so many Americans that have had ancestors that have been in that place and yet had the opportunity to make a change in their life and to have a better life for them and their children.
So, you know, first thing is we have to recognize that there are those that are out there. But we cannot help them if we cannot make the economic conditions better for them to even have a chance of bettering their lives.
VAN SUSTEREN: I asked people on GretaWire, my blog, what questions they would ask you. One of the questions that was asked of you is, asked me to ask you, is your husband needs to get tougher, people say. He needs to get stronger and swing back a little bit more on the campaign trail. How do you respond to that?
ROMNEY: You know, there's criticisms that are going to come right and left. Everyone has an opinion. I think he's -- I think he's doing a great job. I think he's very focused. You know, we are very focused on winning this election in November. We're trying everything we can. We know it's difficult out there on the campaign trail. And folks should know that Mitt is -- he's putting every ounce of energy into it. And he is a true believer in America. He's a true believer in the economic prosperity that is around the corner if we change directions.
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VAN SUSTEREN: Four years ago your husband didn't make it to be the nominee, but he certainly was running for president. I'm curious, anything noticeably difference in these two races for you between four years ago and now, any big difference?
ROMNEY: Yes. And I will tell you the biggest difference, Greta, and it's the women that come up to me on the campaign trail. I will tell you four years ago, women that would speak to me had a lot of different concerns on their mind. This time around, it is nearly universal that they're talking about jobs, the economy, their future. And they're talking about debt and entitlements and everything that is so critical that we make sure that we get a hold on this economy or we're going to see ourselves facing the kind of crisis, if we don't address some of these things, we're going to have that crisis that is being faced in Europe right now.
And women, that's been the biggest difference that I've noticed, is that women are talking about the economy and jobs and deficit spending, which I have found amazing.
Now, I will tell you the other thing that's wonderful, the really good part of being on a campaign, and that is how millions of people are behind us, how many people are praying for us, how many people are praying for me in particular with my health concerns. So this is such a great country. There are so many wonderful people out there. But we're all concerned about the future. And we know we just cannot afford four more years of what we've been facing the last four years.
VAN SUSTEREN: How was that plane ride?
ROMNEY: It was not fun.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not fun? So what happened? Smoke filled the cabin?
ROMNEY: Yes. I was watching a movie. I was completely oblivious, and all of a sudden my movie shorted out. I turned around. I was at the front. I turned around and saw everyone's look of shock in the back of the plane. They kind of kept me in the dark, I think, knowing there wasn't much I could do about it. And I turned around, I said, oh, dear, there's a lot of smoke. There was a lot of smoke. I mean, our eyes were burning. We were having difficulty breathing. It was a bit of a frightening experience.
VAN SUSTEREN: How long between when you first noticed the smoke and when you got out of the plane? I realize you had to land. I've been on horrible flights, but --
ROMNEY: It was in a while. It wasn't like we landed within minutes. We had to get to the Denver airport and descend. I will tell you, wee descended faster than I've ever descended in an airplane. Great pilots. My Secret Service were terrific. I felt in great hands. I think the thing that was interesting to me, I felt we would taxi off and get out of the way. No. We stopped on the runway, got off on the runway and the fire trucks circled us and circled the plane. That's when you're aware of how serious that was.
VAN SUSTEREN: You should have seen our BlackBerries went wild. I mean, we would get that anyway with a plane in distress, but it said Mrs. Romney's plane in trouble. It went viral to all of us in the media immediately.
VAN SUSTEREN: It was terrifying, all these flights are.
VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, it ended well.
ROMNEY: It did.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm going to let you go. I know you have a very busy evening. Thank you very much for joining us. I hope you join us again in the next days and weeks.
ROMNEY: Thanks, Greta.