Ann Romney, wife of Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, was in Iowa Tuesday laying the groundwork for her husband to make a real play for this state’s caucuses, a vote that typically goes to more conservative candidates.
”Iowa is a great state. I’m happy to be here again and happy to participate in this process. We will be back, and we will be here, because Iowa is important,” Ann Romney told a small gathering in Adel, Iowa.
Her husband, a former Massachusetts governor, had earlier in the campaign shied away from Iowa, focusing instead on the first primary state of New Hampshire. But those close to the campaign say Romney is looking closely at Iowa now too.
Ann Romney, a mother of five who has spent 42 of her 62 years married to Mitt Romney, said she hoped to tell Iowans who her husband really was. A breast cancer survivor who has also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Ann Romney wants to make her husband – often caricatured as a robot – appear more human.
She spoke openly about her struggle with MS, and the support she received from her husband.
“Another time that was very difficult in my life was when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and that was in 1998. I was a very, happy, healthy, active person, and all of a sudden I was too sick to get out of bed, weak and too fatigued to take care of anything. I could take care of myself, and it was a very hard time in my life and very depressing time,” she said.
”He didn’t care if I ended up in a wheelchair, that didn’t bother him. He didn’t care if I couldn’t put dinner on the table. He said: ‘I can have toast and cereal my whole life.’ And that again was a wonderful time when I realized he was going to be so relieved, and that was a turning point for me. You can see now I’m standing here. I’m in remission. It’s wonderful,” she said.
At the time of her diagnosis, Mitt was tapped to save the flailing Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. For the torch relay, Americans from around the country nominated their own personal heroes to participate. Mitt Romney nominated Ann. Together they ran one of the final legs of the relay into Salt Lake City.