Mitt Romney Reveals He Wrote 'Dad' at the Top of His Debate Day Notes

Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Mitt Romney revealed in an interview that aired Sunday what he wrote at the top of every page of his notes when he took to the stage during the many GOP primary debates: "Dad."

During a more relaxed portion of his interview with CBS News' Bob Schieffer, the two spoke on his campaign bus as he criss-crossed the country on his five-day, six-state bus tour. Romney said he picked these six states that President Obama won in 2008 because he looks "forward to winning (them) in the general election" and is "plant(ing) the flag if you will."

"Each time I wrote Dad at the top of my page reminding myself of the sacrifice that he made in his life for his family, for us and his passion for America so yeah Dad was just three letters at the top of the page," Romney said in the interview that aired on CBS's Face the Nation on Father's Day.

He said his father, George Romney, who was the governor of Michigan and ran unsuccessfully for the 1968 GOP presidential was "an extraordinary person, born poor, raised poor, never graduated from college, never worried about the past, always looked forward, had such confidence in America that he went on to achieve great things in business and government."

"I mean I look at my Dad as one of a kind, spoke the truth, suffered for it politically from time to time, but didn't care about the politics of truth. He said what he believed and moved on," Romney said.

His father famously said in 1967 he was "brainwashed" by American generals into supporting the Vietnam War while touring Southeast Asia in 1965. The comment effectively ended his presidential aspirations.

Schieffer asked the candidate about Saturday's news that his wife, Ann's horse Rafalca she co-owns with her dressage trainer, Jan Ebeling, would be heading to the London Olympics. He said his wife is "thrilled," but he won't be on hand to watch.

"I'm sure she'll be watching," Romney said. "I have a campaign to attend to so I won't be able to see it perform, but I'm very pleased for her."

Romney is expected to attend the opening ceremonies in London. He's attended every Olympics since heading up the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and the story of those Games is a frequent campaign talking point for the candidate.

Romney noted the expensive world of dressage is not a sport "many people are familiar with," but said it's something his wife "has a passion" for and she believes has helped her control her symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Mrs. Romney was diagnosed in 1998, but Romney told Schieffer she has been "almost symptom free ever since 2002 so almost ten years."

"She cares very deeply about this sport and about the horses," Romney said. "I joke that I'm going to have to send her to Betty Ford for addiction to horses."

The Betty Ford clinic is a drug and alcohol addiction center in California founded by former First Lady Better Ford.

Ann Romney's love of dressage has brought more notoriety to the sport-often called horse ballet-than ever in its history although these Olympics will mark the 100th year it has been an Olympic sport. Even satirist Stephen Colbert has been targeting dressage and the Romneys with his humor calling dressage the "Sport of the Summer."

Despite being almost symptom free from MS, Mrs. Romney did have a relapse around Super Tuesday, but Romney revealed she didn't even tell her husband about the flare up.

"She didn't mention it," Romney said. "She knew if I heard a thing about it I'd have shut her down and said you got to go home, you've got to take some rest and see the people who give you care and get you tuned back up again, but she knew it was important for her to keep working so she kept it from me and kept on working…she has a great doctor and others that help her stay strong, including the horses."

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