Ann Romney attempts to counter GOP’s war-on-women reputation, humanize Mitt

Updated
Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, waves as she walks up to the podium during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, waves as she walks up to the podium during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Jae C. Hong / AP

Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife, gave a speech directed towards women at the Republican National convention on Tuesday night. Speaking just before the keynote address, she declared, “tonight we salute you and sing your praises.” Women, she said, “always work a little bit harder.”

However, the would-be first lady declined to mention restrictions on reproductive rights, limited access to birth control or unequal pay for equal work. “It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right,” she said, eliding possible reasons for why.

Romney also defended her husband’s much-derided business career, seemingly equating the Obama campaign’s criticisms of Bain Capital with attacks on the very idea of success.

“It amazes me to see his history of success being attacked—are those really the values that made our country great?” she said, prompting shoutings of “NO!” from the audience. “Do we send our children out into the world with the advice, ‘try to do okay?”

Romney added that Mitt “was not handed success—he built it!” The line was a reference to the main theme of Day One of the convention.

Mitt’s wife also thrice referred to her husband’s sense of humor, which was the primary reason she fell in love with him, she said. “He was tall, laughed a lot,” Ann said. “He was nervous—girls like that. It shows a guy is intimidated … but most of all, he made me laugh.”

Her words were a repetition of themes she highlighted in an interview in June with Katie Couric, when she said that Mitt, who is often seen as wooden and robotic, is “very funny.” She said in the interview that the media had misperceived him. “Maybe I’ll get the message through, finally.”    

Ann Romney and Mitt Romney

Ann Romney attempts to counter GOP's war-on-women reputation, humanize Mitt

Updated