Mitt Romney: The Complete Interview

Mitt Romney: My dad, I mean, I am a small shadow of the real deal. My dad was extraordinary.

Ann Romney: I don't agree with that. But I think it's the same kind of attitude that you have to take when you approach something like this, because the race is going to be tough.

There's only going to be a few people left standing. You don't go in thinking -- you're ego, of course, is going to get bruised. It's going to be tortuous, it's going to be hard.

But if you have the attitude Mitt's father had, at the end, which is, "Life is good. I was there, it didn't work, off we go," that's the attitude that I hope we bring to this, as well.

We're here. The door is open, we're going through it, we'll see what happens. If it doesn't work, great.

Ann Romney: She's about the best woman in the world, she's fabulous and she has been the person who's gotten me on this track.

Never in a million years would I be doing this without her.

Ann Romney: I'm sorry.

Stephanopoulos: You said you felt politics was his destiny.

Ann Romney: You know, when I met him, when he was just, what, 18 years old, even the I sensed a greatness in him and I sensed this leadership, whatever it is, that makes a leader.

It wasn't that I necessarily saw that it was our future or anything else, I just sensed a greatness in him and an ability to be a great leader.

And I knew our life would be interesting. I didn't know it would be as interesting as it has been.

Stephanopoulos: Your sister, Jane, says you have lived a charmed life.

What's the toughest personal crisis you've ever had to face?

Mitt Romney: Well, the charm in my life is that I fell in love young and you can't imagine what a blessing it is, in my opinion, to find your soul mate so young, to raise five kids together, and to see them get married and have children of their own. It's an extraordinary blessing.

But without question, the most difficult time in our life was when Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Stephanopoulos: In 1998.

Ann Romney: Yes.

Mitt Romney: And we were in the doctor's office and she was going through a series of neurological tests.

Ann Romney: I was flunking everything.

Mitt Romney: Her right side wasn't working and we were thinking it could be Lou Gehrig's disease. And we said to each other, "As long as it's not fatal, we can live with anything."

Ann Romney: Well, he thought that.

Mitt Romney: You weren't sure about that.

Ann Romney: No, I was really, really troubled by the disease. It was really tough for me.

It was, obviously, hard for Mitt emotionally to have to support me during that, but for me, I am a physical person that loves action and loves to be involved in sports and I was a tennis player at that point, and I, interestingly enough, had thought, "My gosh, I'm at the end of my 40s, almost 50 years old, I've made it through that period of live where people get diagnosed with MS."

I mean, I was thinking these thoughts and then to actually have that diagnosis was just such a stunning blow to me.

Stephanopoulos: You're healthy now.

Mitt Romney: She's healthy.

Ann Romney: I am now.

Mitt Romney: She won't brag on herself, but she's really extraordinary. Of course, she used traditional medicine and Eastern medicine, everything she could think of to get herself strong, but she also started riding horses again.

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