Ann Romney takes center stage in Tampa, vows husband Mitt 'will not fail'

Ann Romney tried Tuesday night to bring some love – and some truth -- to a presidential race marked recently by accusations of half-truths and lies, in a speech that paid homage to women and attempted to share Mitt Romney's personal side with America.

“I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family,” said Romney, whose husband had received the GOP presidential nomination just hours earlier. “Tonight I want to talk to you about love.”

Ann Romney, in a roughly 30-minute speech that ended with Mitt Romney walking on stage and kissing his wife, made the case for her husband in a way no other speaker could. She knocked down the notion that he was born of privilege, and promised the nominee would right the country if elected.

“I can tell you, he was not handed success. ... No one will work harder. No one will care more … to make this country a better place to live. This man will not fail," she said.

In an appeal to better halves across the country, Romney also said it is women who are the unsung heroes of families.

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“It’s the moms who work hard to make everything right,” said Romney, countering accusations by Democrats and other critics that Republicans are “waging a war against women.”

"You know the fastest routes to the emergency room," she said. "You sit at graduation and wonder how the years went by so quickly."

"I love you, women," Romney said about midday through the speech.

Romney, in her speech at the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla.,  also spoke of a marriage that was not exactly the storybook relationship that the Romneys' life is sometimes made out to be in the media.

“Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer,” said Romney, alluding to her own struggles with both illnesses.

She spoke of how the couple started out in a basement apartment and how, through hard work, her husband became successful enough to give their children an education that Mitt Romney’s father never had.

Those in the audience were swooning over the address.

Colorado alternate delegate Todd King said, "People in the audience were staring at the screen, looked like they were hanging on every single word she said. I've not seen that with any other speaker."

Though Romney never mentioned Obama by name, she said, "I've heard your voices. They've said to me, 'I'm running in place and I just cannot get ahead."

John Gardner, Tennessee delegate, said, "She did an excellent job. Folks everywhere can relate to her -- they are that wife, that mother, that daughter."