Ann Romney Cites Humble Welsh Roots in Campaign

H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record/AP Photo

Ann Romney, who will soon cheer on her dressage horse and trainer at the London Summer Olympics, is making a side trip this weekend to Porthcawl, a seaside resort on the south coast of Wales, according to a report in the Guardian.

Romney's grandfather was a Welsh coal miner, and she and her husband often mention him on the stump.

"My grandfather never saw the sun for six days a week, and it was on Sunday when they spent a lot of time in church that he saw the sun," Ann Romney said at a campaign event in Michigan in February. "I think of that and I think of the heritage that I come from, and how my grandfather made the sacrifice to bring his family to this country for hope and opportunity."

She and her husband have made similar comments since, bringing up her family's humble roots to blunt Democrats' depiction of them as out of touch.

Mrs. Romney's grandfather, David Davies, came to Michigan from Wales in 1929. She not only mentions his humble roots on the campaign trail, she bakes her famous Welsh cakes while on the road.

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Mitt Romney will begin his overseas trip to England, Israel, and Poland on Wednesday when he arrives in London. He will meet with British leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron, on Thursday, then attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with his wife on Friday before traveling to Israel this weekend. Mrs. Romney will return to London from Wales to watch the horse she co-owns, Rafalca, perform in the dressage competition, also known as "horse ballet," with her trainer Jan Ebeling.

In an interview with the Guardian, Roddy Evans, Romney's 77-year-old second cousin, said the would-be First Lady is "just a lovely Welsh girl."

"You couldn't meet a nicer family," Evans said in the interview. "Mitt and Ann are incredibly warm and loving. It is a hugely romantic story that this little Welsh family in despair get up and go to America.

"Ann's father was always extremely conscious of his Welsh connections," he added. "I think it was important to him because it must have been such a big thing to him when he emigrated at such a young age. It would be an extraordinary event for Nantyffyllon if that happened [Mitt's election]. It tickled me pink just to think about it.

"I can remember we were down in Florida and Ann and Mitt discovered we were there and they got on a plane and flew down for lunch," he added.

Nantyffyllon is the Welsh village Ann Romney's grandfather came from.

The Romney campaign did not return requests for comment on Mrs. Romney's trip to Wales.

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