Published August 29, 2012
The following is a transcript of Ann Romney's interview Wednesday with Fox News' Shannon Bream:
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS: Mrs. Romney, thank you so much for your time today. I have to ask you about your speech. A lot of preparation, I’m sure, anticipation as well. How did it feel to get out there and give that speech on the stage last night?
ANN ROMNEY: It actually felt pretty good! I was (INAUDIBLE). I wasn’t nervous; very excited to give it. I felt very strongly about the message I wanted to give and reaching out to women. You know, it felt great. Was really fun.
BREAM: And you had such an important role, really, rolling out a different side of Mitt Romney, the candidate so people could understand him more as a person. Did you count that as a privilege? A big responsibility? I mean, how did you weigh that?
ROMNEY: You know, I’ve been doing it for a long time, so it didn’t really feel like it was that different because that’s sort of been my role all along. But I was just glad that there was a large audience to hear that. So for me, I think some of the messages I said last night where I said this is a guy you can trust, this is a guy that will get the job done, this is a guy that will not fail. And I really mean that.
And I’ve seen him in everything he’s done in his life. Half those things that seem impossible to fix. And even though the troubles that face this nation are very serious, I trust that he is the one person that can fix them.
BREAM: Did you talk about the speech afterward? What happened after he came off the stage?
ROMNEY: Yes, it was really fun. We went – Mitt of course, surprised me by coming on stage, and then we went back to the box. And some of my daughters (ph) and all were actually crying quite hard. They weren’t just, like, little tears. One was actually sobbing, and my boys all had a tear in their eyes. And I think they were moved by the speech. And I think they were also so proud of me. So, that was wonderful.
But then when we went home, a lot of my grandchildren were there. Not the real little ones, but most of the grandchildren were at the speech. And I was in my hotel room, and the door opened, and about 15 of these little kids stormed the door, tackled me, threw me on the ground, jumping all over me, hugging me, wrapping – they just, I mean, they are so cute. I mean, they just were – that was quite a greeting I got.
And then the boys trickled in one by one and just hugged and hugged and hugged and were just so proud of me. And they are still – my boys were still emotional by the time this has been – you know, quite a while after we had sat through Chris’ great address too. And my boys were still quite emotional. It was a great night.
BREAM: Is that the kind of thing that gives you energy to keep going out there on the campaign trail?
ROMNEY: Oh, yes, absolutely. You know, the fact that they believe in us, that they are there for us, that they’re such great role models for others as well. I’m so proud of them. I’m so proud of the fact that they’re good husbands and good dads themselves. There’s nothing more a mother wants than to see her child happy. And my boys are all well – you know, they married beautiful girls and they have happy marriages and you know, it’s all just – it’s all very good.
BREAM: How hard is it to raise five boys? Honestly?
ROMNEY: It wasn’t easy. It really wasn’t easy. I felt like the lone ranger most of the time. Unfortunately, their father participated in the shenanigans and actually instigated most of it. So, it was like he was my other child --
BREAM: Sixth boy.
ROMNEY: He made it – he just – you know, for me, I was always trying to calm it down a little bit, quiet it down a little bit. And he’d come in and just (SOUND). It would just go crazy again. And the energy and the fun.
And even now, when we’re all together, there’s nothing we love more. But there’s a lot of it when we’re all together. There’s about 30 of us because we’ve got the 10 adult children and the 18 grandchildren and Mitt and myself. So, that’s quite a lot of people. And it doesn’t matter how chaotic it is, how noisy it is, Mitt is like loving every second of it. And then after a while, I can only take so much of it and I have to go and find a quiet corner.
But he loves all of that give and take and the bantering and the – you know, the pranks and the mischief that the grandkids get involved with. He just – he just loves it.
BREAM: It sounds like good preparation for being on the campaign trail, to some extent.
ROMNEY: The chaos.
BREAM: Yeah, the chaos.
ROMNEY: I think, you know, for me, having had this great blessing of raising all boys taught me a lot, to be resilient and flexible. Also taught me to really appreciate where those boys were coming from, and to learn to share your feelings and really put things on the table. I was not – I have changed. They have changed me. In a good way, where I’m much more open with my feelings, much more honest with what’s going on. Much easier to sort of walk away and forgive, because they would blow up. And (INAUDIBLE). And it’s a great (INAUDIBLE). And then it’s done.
And that was an interesting thing for me to watch it through the years and see how these boys are able to do that. And I’ve learned a lot from raising them.
BREAM: Want to ask you about something you said in your speech last night. You talked about the fact that your husband is being attacked for being successful. I think (INAUDBLE), and I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, from an outside third-party group that implies a connection between his work at Bain and a man who lost his job and then lost his life to cancer. Outside third-party fact checking group has decried it. They called it dishonest, deceitful. Even a number of Democrats have come forward and used words like "outrageous."
As a wife, how do you react to ads like that?
ROMNEY: Well, you know, clearly those are outrageous and offensive. We’re talking about a woman’s life, and somehow that my husband caused her death – I mean, it’s just horrible. That is – that is outrageous. And you know, those things are upsetting. But it’s what we’re dealing with right now. And I expect more of it, actually.
BREAM: What do you think about the tone of the campaign moving forward? You don’t think it’s going to get better? Do you think it’ll get tougher before November?
ROMNEY: I don’t think it’s going to get any easier. I don’t think those kinds of charges are going to end. This is why I loved the opportunity last night to have a chance to speak, because people need to focus on the real issues. The issues are economics. About huge liabilities that we’re leaving our children, mortgaging their future. It’s about good jobs. It’s about opportunities for their children and their grandchildren.
And the choice is very clear.
I think the choice is very clear. We want a strong economy and a resurgence of economic growth in this country. I think there’s only one person that’s going to be able to do that. And I’m convinced of that. Absolutely convinced of that. I’ve seen him do it time and time again. And he will work tirelessly to make sure to have more economic prosperity, more jobs.
Look at all the kids coming out of college right now. They can’t even find a job. This is a real problem. There are real stories we’re hearing out there. I’ve been out there now for a year-and-a-half, and these people are – that I’m speaking to, these women, these men, these – just college kids that are showing up at our events, even. They are pleading with myself and my husband, please, help us.
And you know, it’s quite astonishing to go out there and to sense – you get a feeling. It’s -- you know, I’m intuitive. And so as a woman, I feel like I’m especially intuitive that you get this sense that there’s something just wan (ph) out there, and that people are really worried. They’re really anxious for a change. They need someone to give them permissions (ph) and answers that they know. If they keep (INAUDIBLE) harder, it’s going to get better.
And right now, I think they think if they keep just keep working harder, that’s all they’re going to have. It’s just to have to keep working harder. To just tread water, to just keep your head above water. And they don’t want that for their kids. They want their kids to be able to have good jobs. These kids have been underemployed or unemployed right now that are coming out of college.
BREAM: When it comes to type issues like employment, like taxes, even abortion in the last week or so – there have been a lot of discussion about some of these things, do you help your husband? Do you advise, do you discuss? I imagine as any political couple that you’re going to discuss these tough, controversial issues. But I think about abortion specifically, help him – think about ways to bridge the conversation or navigate. Even on an issue like this, even where the GOP within the party has got nuances and differences on something like that?
ROMNEY: Well, you know. I can’t help myself. I always say poor man. He’s getting advice from everybody. You know, and he’s even getting it from me.
But really with policy, I stay clear. The way I try to help him is maybe – by approaching it or saying it in a different way or something like that. But he’s very clear on the issues. He’s very clear where he stands. And when I was being interviewed and said, oh no, I don’t advise him on policy, he was laughing sitting next to me, going, oh, really? News to me! Surprise.
So, he is. He gets a lot of advice from a lot of different people. And we try to keep a sense of humor about all of this too, because there’s almost a person – I mean, every person we run into has advice. Every person that we’ve ever know, ever seen --
BREAM: Or not known.
ROMNEY: Ever known. Total strangers are always trying to help us. And it’s nice in the case that you recognize that everyone out there is trying to help. And they don’t know how. And they want to just help.
So, we appreciate that. But you know, it gets overwhelming at times too.
BREAM: Very quickly – I know our time’s just about up. But I want to ask you, have you allowed yourself to think ahead to if you do end up in the White House, the two of you? And what kind of first lady that you’d want to be? What role you’d want to have?
ROMNEY: Well, I do look ahead. And this is the future that I see. I see Mitt winning, and I see America getting better. And beyond that, I don’t think too much about my role. I certainly know where my passions have led me in my life before. And I imagine that they will lead me in the same way.
I care about children. I care about disadvantaged kids. I care about kids always having their full potential met. And there’s so many kids in this nation that aren’t there. They’re really, really losing a lot in their lives right now. I care about breast cancer research. I care about multiple sclerosis research.
So, all of those things that I have been working on for – for you know, for years myself on a personal level, I’m sure I will carry forward. But the thing that I care about most is making sure that Mitt is there because he’s the one that’s going to make the difference in millions of people’s lives. Millions of lives. He’s going to be there to make sure that college kids that are coming out of college will have a job. He’s going to be there to make sure that people that are underemployed are going to get better employment.
And you know, I really sense that this is a great opportunity for America to get it right and to get back on track and to have a more prosperous, brighter future.
BREAM: Thank you.