Romney channels ‘Friday Night Lights’ on the stump

Mitt Romney under the lights at a recent campaign rally in Apopka, Florida.
Mitt Romney under the lights at a recent campaign rally in Apopka, Florida.
Jewel Samad/Getty Images

In a stump speech declaring victory at the first presidential debates, Mitt Romney switched up his campaign tone in front of Floridian supporters, even referencing the cult TV classic, “Friday Night Lights.” (Coincidentally, we must note, on Friday night.)

The Republican nominee got personal, recounting the deaths of three supporters who influenced his campaign, one of whom was a 14-year-old boy diagnosed with leukemia. Romney said the boy, David Oparowski, referred to him as “Brother Romney” for counseling him with his will.

“I went to David’s bedside and got a piece of legal paper, made it look very official. And then David proceeded to tell me what he wanted to give his friends. Talked about his fishing rod, and who would get that. He talked about his skateboard, who’d get that. And his rifle, that went to his brother. I’ve seen the character of a young man like David, who wasn’t emotional or crying. He had his eyes wide open.”

Romney went on to remember his conversation about death with the teenager and the eulogy he delivered at Oparowski’s funeral.

“I sat down next to him and he said…he said what happens next? And I spoke with him about what I believe happens next. ‘Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.’ David passed away, but I’ll always remember — never forget — his courage, his clear eyes, full heart. He won’t lose.”

That saying was popularized by the “Friday Night Lights” series, chanted before every game during all five seasons.

In a Daily Beast column posted on Monday, the of author Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, publicly endorsed Mitt Romney, allowing him to feature “Clear Eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose” as the official campaign slogan. Bissinger became convinced of Romney’s presidential potential with his debate performance last week. He wrote, Romney “did not simply act like he wanted to be president. He wants to be president.” Bissinger concluded his opinion piece with, “Romney has it. Our president no longer does.” 

Romney certainly doesn’t plan on wearing out the chant anytime soon. On Sunday, the Romney campaign wrote that as the subject of a fundraising email sent out by Ann Romney.