STAMFORD, Conn. - Ann Romney gave a passionate and at times emotional speech to the party faithful here tonight, telling them she knows "we are going to win in November" because of what women tell her at campaign events all over the country.
Romney said while supporters "swarm" her husband, she talks to women at campaign stops and asks them, "Why are you here? What made you come out of your house today to this event?"
At this point Romney became emotional and her voice began to crack recounting the prayers being said on her behalf.
"The kindness and sweetest of all is that so many women that I've never met before and may never see ever again in my life tell me how much they care for me and how much they are praying for me," Romney said at a GOP fundraiser and awards ceremony here. "And I can't tell you how much I appreciate that because the days are long and the road is hard, the trials are there and I never know when I have this little gray cloud that's over my head when it's going to start raining on me again and I do need those prayers, but I honestly feel like we are there for a purpose."
Clearly trying to confront the gender gap her husband is facing head on, Romney said it's the economy that women on the trail tell her they are concerned with: "Their husbands' jobs, their jobs, their children's jobs."
Dressed in a pink sweater, she admitted the campaign can be "emotional draining" when she watches her husband being "maligned at times" or "being misrepresented at times."
Although she said campaigning "doesn't come naturally" to her she got an enthusiastic reception and painted an empathetic portrait of her husband just one day before Connecticut Republicans cast their primary vote.
She described him not only as a successful businessman and governor of Massachusetts, but also touted his work as a leader in the Mormon Church, not something either of the Romneys usually bring up on the campaign trail.
"He also served in our church," Romney told the crowd of about 800. "He counseled people when he was tired, people would be coming in to the house late at night needing help and needing some encouragement. I never knew why they came. Often I didn't even know who they were. They would come in a side door if they didn't feel like they wanted anyone to share they were going through a difficult time, never once did Mitt ever tell me one thing about the things he was helping these people with. He kept it in such strict confidence."
She briefly brought up the media firestorm from earlier this month when a Democratic pundit said she had "never worked a day in her life."
To cheers from the dinner-goers she said, "Some people think I didn't work," but said until she had her fifth son she took care of all the household tasks, citing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and bill paying, without any outside help.
"I know what it's like to wake up early in the morning and get them off to school; I know what it's like to be up in the middle of the night when they are sick; and I know what it's like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have," Romney said. "So we are grateful for the response that we got from that and appreciative of recognizing that women have choices in life and some choices are not all the same, but we value everyone's choice that they make in their profession.
"Sometimes like isn't easy for any of us," she said.
She also gave the group a glimpse into how her family and husband made the decision to get behind another presidential campaign after losing the GOP primary four years ago. Unlike the last time, Romney said it was only "one son who felt strongly Mitt should go forward and there was only me who felt Mitt should go forward" this time.
She said as her husband, five sons, and five daughters-in-law spoke about other possible candidates and her husband's chances she said, "I don't care about any of that that. That is not what I'm going to make my decision on … you never know how the playing field can change."
"I only want to know one thing, Mitt, if you get the nomination which isn't easy," Romney recounted telling her husband. "If you beat Barack Obama, can you fix it? I need to know if it's too late. Has America gone over the proverbial cliff? … I need to know if it's worth to go through all of that and you are going to tell me then it's too late, and he said, 'No it's getting late, but it's not too late.'"
The Prescott Bush Awards Dinner held at the Marriott was a $250-a-plate fundraiser and attendees who paid $5,000 got an opportunity to meet with Romney. The Connecticut Republican primary is Tuesday.