The Grieving Widow Behind Romney's Speech


"I said to him, 'Hi, President Romney,' and he laughed and 'not yet,'" Horton said.

"He spent at least 10 minutes with me, I was truly impressed," she said. "Even if [President] Obama did that for me, even if Hillary Clinton did that for me, I'd say the exact same thing. It doesn't matter who it is but that someone cares about me that much, on the most important day of his life -- he had just become the nominee -- and he's going to take me on his tour bus and get to me and get to know Chris?"

Horton said that she is aware of the criticism of Romney that he's not "real" enough.

"[People] will say he's not a person, he's a robot, he doesn't have feelings, he just has money, but that's just ridiculous," she said.

Horton said she doesn't want people to think Romney is "exploiting" her story -- she does not think that's what he's doing.

"It's the greatest honor of my life because I feel like I've accomplished what my husband would have wanted, he'd want his spirit to live on in me and I feel like that's happening right now," she said.

According to the results of a new ABC News-Washington Post poll, Romney is now seen favorably by 47 percent of registered voters overall, unfavorably by 51 percent. President Obama's rating is still better, 55-44 percent, but Romney's numbers are his best to date among conservatives.

To help boost these numbers, Romney has been doing more off-the-cuff campaigning, making impromptu stops at Florida restaurants and redirecting his motorcade so he could meet a group of excited elementary school kids. Stories like Horton's are just another addition to the recent Romney repertoire, as the campaign looks to improve the candidate's reputation among undecided voters in the month that remains before Election Day.

Asked how she feels that her story is being touted as one of the ways Romney will turn that criticism around -- and could help improve the public perception of him -- Horton began to cry again.

"I just started bawling because if I had anything to do with that I can't tell you how much that would mean to Chris," she said. "It would make it all worth it for him, and so worth it for me."

As for plans to talk to Romney again, Horton says she'll wait and knows how busy he is, but can't help but notice that he still frequently wears the bracelet bearing Chris's name and the date of his death right next to his watch. Horton gave it to him the morning that they met.

Last week, as Romney debuted Horton's story at that outdoor rally in St. Petersburg, there it was on, his wrist, visible as he rolled up his sleeves to address the crowd.

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