Ann Romney has recalled how her husband would “curl up in bed with me” as she battled depression and the onset of multiple sclerosis, revealing a tender side to the man who will formally accept the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.
The account of the Romney family’s battle with her disease which was diagnosed in 1998 came on the eve of a keynote speech by the 63-year-old Mrs Romney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
With strategists openly wondering if Mitt Romney has the charisma to win November’s general election, Mrs Romney has been chosen as the spearhead of a deliberate campaign to show that a man often seen as wooden and distant does, after all, have a heart.
“Even when I was as sick as that he would curl up in the bed with me,” Mrs Romney said, pausing to wipe away a tear during a weekend of interviews for CNN at the Romney’s large lakeside home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
“So, you just knew that that was where he was. It was like he was gonna do anything he could do just to say ‘I’m here. You’re OK. Just stay right there, and we’ll be OK.'”
The couple’s 42-year-old eldest son, Tagg Romney, his voice similarly breaking with emotion, also recalled the human side of the former founder of Bain Capital private equity.”It was a tough moment for both of them. It was interesting to see the way he treated her as they went through that,” he said, “Very caring, very loving, very frustrating for him not to be able to step in and fix it. But they drew even closer.”
Mrs Romney will take to the convention’s stage late on Tuesday night in the hope that she can convey to a prime-time US television audience that her husband is not the awkward, out-of-touch Bostonian banker that he is sometimes characterised as being.
In a sincere and moving interview, Mrs Romney also recalled the heart-stopping moment in 1968 when she feared her future husband and high school sweetheart may have died in a car crash in France where he was working as a Mormon missionary.
“George [Romney, his father] called me on the phone and said we have some bad news about Mitt, but he didn’t tell me what, and then he came and picked me up and took me to his home. I had word that he was killed,” she said, moved at the memory.
“We waited for hours and hours