Ann Romney: From the Saddle to the Campaign Trail

"I was really surprised," she said. "As soon as I got on, I completely forgot I was even sick or tired or -- that fatigue feeling -- I just was so filled with joy that it just was like a magic pill for me."

Last year, after eight years of hard work, Romney won the gold medal in a national competition. "It was my miracle," she said. "It may not be someone else's. No one else may see it as a miracle, but it was my miracle."

Kinship With Elizabeth Edwards

Although Romney is able ride horses, she is still ill. What toll the campaign would have on her health factored heavily in the couple's decision as to whether or not her husband was going to run for president.

"That was a risk that we had to weigh," she said. "And at the point … it was literally up to me. Mitt's like, 'I won't do this. Nothing matters to me except making sure you're well.' And I'm like, 'I'm going.'"

Strangely enough, another candidate and his family had to make the same decision this year, when John Edward's wife, Elizabeth, found out her cancer had returned.

"Elizabeth and I have talked, and I think we share the same understanding that what our husbands are doing is critically important," Romney said. "And I know she believes, and I believe, too, that my husband is the right person for the job. And we are willing to put ourselves out there for that."

If you're surprised that the wife of a Republican candidate for president is singing the praises of a Democratic candidate's wife, Romney said her illness has taught her a lot.

Evolving Her Views

Even though Romney is often successful in steering the conversation away from politics, many have criticized her and her husband for their apparent shift on issues like abortion.

"He has definitely evolved his opinion," said Romney of her husband's view.

And perhaps her views have evolved as well. In 1994, Romney donated $150 to Planned Parenthood, a check she said she didn't remember writing.

"These things become … part of a campaign, which is … so ridiculous, because it doesn't define me. It's not who I am. I wouldn't have done it today."

One position that is not up for change is the Romney's religion. They are Mormons, and that poses a problem for some voters. In recent polls, three out of 10 Republicans said they would not vote for a Mormon, any Mormon, for president.

"As he said, he's not running for theologian in chief. He's running for commander in chief," Romney said. "And I think it's just unfamiliarity, and it's not maybe that they're bigoted, it's just that they're unfamiliar."

Romney said that while she doesn't understand the constant scrutiny of her faith, she understands that running for office is a sacrifice.

She also maintains a sense of humor about the whole process, specifically when it comes to what to do with her horses should her husband get elected.

"You know something, that is my only next concern," she laughed. "Where will I put those horses? Will they be on the front lawn?"

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