LITTLETON, Colo. — As Mitt Romney prepares to beat up on President Barack Obama on the subject of the economy at Tuesday’s debate, Ann Romney held a rally to talk about her husband’s softer side, portraying him as someone with “compassion.”
The theme of the speech was children. Surrounded by three of her grandchildren, Romney told stories of why her grandchildren want their “papa” to win the election. (One, Thomas, a third grader, will oust a fourth grader and become “king of the bus” if his grandfather is elected).
But the bulk of the speech focused on the story of Romney’s friendship with a 14-year-old boy named David, the son of a friend of his, who was dying of cancer.
“Mitt made it a point to befriend this 14-year-old boy,” Ann said, telling how he would regularly make visits to the hospital to talk to the boy.
More importantly, she said, he would take their sons with him, to teach them: “this is what we do when we take care of one another.”
“Children learn by watching, they learn by example, they learn that we don’t talk, we go do,” she said.
Learning that David liked fireworks, Romney once bought him a big box for a stint when he was out of the hospital — to give him some time to still be a child. She told how Mitt helped the boy write his will, and later, at his request, gave a eulogy at his funeral.
“That is where Mitt is when someone’s in trouble,” Ann said. “He’s there, he’s by the bedside.”
“Right now the country’s in trouble,” she went on. “We need someone who cares, that truly understands what’s going on when so many are being stretched so thin … someone that has compassion and has the capacity to understand what people are going through, to have the solutions and to get the job done.”
She talked about how her own grandfather had worked from the age of six, helping his father out in the mines, and had likely grown up without any schooling and been illiterate, commenting on how far her family had come since then.
“We know that everything is on the line in this election. … We understand that for the first time in generations … that we will say to our children, ‘You will probably not be better off than we were,’” Ann said.
“I am so thrilled to know that I have a guy who I’m married to that’s going to step forward and he’s gonna change that,” she concluded.