Ann Romney in South Carolina: A Family Affair

By Jake Whitman

Jul 18, 2007 3:20am

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Family was center stage both literally and figuratively as Ann Romney launched her fist solo bus tour throughout South Carolina Tuesday.

Oversized blown-up family pictures of the Romney family draped the campaign sites. On display front and center was the real life version: daughter-in-law Mary Romney and grandson Parker Romney whom were by their CFO “Chief Family Officer’s” side at each event.

Crowds of mostly women waited eagerly to hear from the mother of five, the grandmother of ten, and the potential next future first-lady of the United States.

Mrs. Romney served as the perfect spousal surrogate: touting Mitt Romney as a loving husband, valuable father, and successful businessman, volunteer and governor.  But she said he’s not done yet, “Wait until he gets his hands on Washington…he’s going to tear it up.”

Referencing the political environment that Governor Romney had risen from in Massachusetts, Mrs. Romney admitted, “It’s been quite an experience, being conservative and living in the North East,” and joked that she liked it when people called her husband, “the Yankee governor with Southern values.”

Taking aim at the characteristically liberal political culture of Massachusetts she continued, “… living with Kennedy and Kerry as your Senators: Mitt often likes to joke that he will trade anyone in the country – your two senators for his two senators. Would you guys like to trade?” The crowd, comprised mostly of Republican party members, shouted “no” in response as roars of laughter followed.

Mrs. Romney described the successes her husband had while in office, recalling the governor promising not to raise taxes in response to the health care problem, a la what the Romney’s refer to as “a Hillary takeover of health care.” Mrs. Romney, pinpointing health care as one of the most important voting issues of the 2008 presidential election, promised that her husband was one of the only candidates who’s had a successful track record, by finding a solution to universal health care coverage without having new takes through market-based initiatives.

Professing she’s having a “great time” touting her husband’s background and qualifications to win the White House, Mrs. Romney gushed how wonderful it is to have her family by her side.  Describing the campaign trail as sometimes “rough and tortuous” grandma Romney brought a little light-hearted humor into the mix, introducing her grandson Parker as the “biggest drooler ever” and later making it up to him with an ice cream cone break between events on the trail.

Mrs. Romney and clan descend on three more cities Wednesday, as part of the two-day bus tour throughout South Carolina.

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