— Mitt Romney‘s wife says the “many faces of Mitt” narrative is a myth.
In an interview with The Morning Call on Monday afternoon before a campaign rally at Elizabethtown College, Ann Romney said there is little difference between the more moderate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the more conservative presidential candidate.
“That’s more of a myth,” she said. “It’s true there have been a few changes, but really not very many. They like to create this myth and he really has been very consistent.”
Ann Romney, who told her husband after he lost the race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 that she’d never do a grueling national campaign again, is back at it, keeping a pace almost as harried as her candidate husband.
Crisscrossing the country with her own staff, her role — since “humanizing” Mitt on the first night of the August Republican convention — is to continue to present the loving husband and father she knows, rather than the corporate millionaire that polls show most people see.
“It’s a billion dollars spent on that narrative, on negative ads,” Ann Romney said when asked about the public perception of Mitt Romney. “A media that is not particularly friendly, that wants to promote that narrative as well.”
She pushed campaign advisers before the first debate, news reports say, to allow her husband to show a softer, more moderate side. She said Monday the debate – widely regarded a win for the Republican – allowed the American people to see an “unfiltered” Romney.
“It was very heartwarming to see the response to him was so good. Finally,” she said in the interview. “I was waiting for a very long time for that moment, for him to be seen in a light that I see him.”
Ann Romney said her husband is not doing anything differently to prepare for the second debate, even though Obama likely will be more aggressive and on point. She said Mitt Romney is prepared.
After the interview, Ann Romney spoke about 15 minutes to a crowd of hundreds at a “Women for Romney” event. She told stories that emphasized her spouse’s more compassionate side. She spoke at length about his being at the bedside of a young boy stricken with cancer — a poignant story the boy’s parents shared at the national convention.
After the event, Valerie Shapella of Lancaster said she came out because she “wanted [the Romneys] to know there are people in Pennsylvania who strongly support them.”
“Her husband has great ideas,” she said. “Our country needs jobs, jobs, jobs. I have family members who are out of work, and unemployment for 99 weeks is not a future.”
Mitt Romney has visited the state six times this year — Obama has been to Pennsylvania twice — but the Republicans have not invested here as they have in states like Ohio and Virginia. A new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll put the race at four points in the state, within the survey’s margin of error.
State Republicans have implored the campaign to make a play for the state’s 20 electoral votes, despite the state’s recent record of voting for Democrats for president.
Ann Romney insisted in the interview that her visit is evidence that the state is now “in play” politically, even if it wasn’t before.
“It’s important that I’m here, that people in Pennsylvania know it’s a competitive race again,” Ann Romney said. “That we’re here. That we recognize that. And that it’s an important election. I think people need to not think that this state is not a possibility for a win for us.”