Romney's Sons: 'None of Us Expected We'd Be Here'

Romney's sons describe their father's style as "vintage" and "conservative."

August 27, 2012, 9:09 AM

Aug. 27, 2012 -- It will be a family reunion of sorts when Mitt Romney accepts the Republican Party's nomination for president Thursday.

His second, third and even fourth cousins have descended on Tampa, Fla., to be part of a special moment for the Romney family. It is a moment even Romney's sons never thought they would see.

Meet Mitt Romney's Sons

"None of us expected we'd be here," Josh Romney, 37, told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer when she interviewed all five of Romney's sons this morning. "It'll be a big moment for us to watch our dad go up there and accept the nomination. It's pretty exciting for us."

The brothers arrived in Tampa before their parents, who have been in Boston preparing their speeches. Ann Romney will address the convention Tuesday, her husband Thursday.

"I talked to my dad and it's driving him crazy that we're all here right now and all together and he's up in Boston today working on the speech," Josh Romney said. "He and my mom are going crazy. They want to come down and hang out with us ... but they've got a lot of work to be doing."

Romney's sons -- all married, with children -- say their 65-year-old father is no different in their eyes, even with all the pageantry and grandeur surrounding him.

"He's still just dad to us," Tagg Romney, 42 and the oldest, said. "So we'll enjoy the moment. ... It's a fun thing to go through as a family."

The jokes started almost immediately after Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan, 42, as his vice presidential running mate that the Wisconsin congressman is Romney's sixth son.

"He's got my dad's hair. ... He's got the good hair," Josh Romney of Salt Lake City, Utah, said, laughing.

Tagg Romney, who lives in Belmont, Mass., said, "My dad ended up picking the person he thought would be the best to step in should something happen to him and someone who he thought would be able to pick up the mantra of the Republican Party eight years from now."

The "sixth son" also has the "classic" look that has come to define Romney and his family.

Romney's sons describe their father's style as "vintage" and "conservative."

The brothers' own fashion choices have been the target of a few late-night jokes because of their propensity to wear khakis. They say the jokes have been "hilarious" and it has all been in good fun.

"No one's wearing khakis anymore, you can see that they're gone," Matt Romney, 40, of San Diego said with a smile.

None of the Romney sons was wearing khakis for today's interview.

While the Romneys might look like the picture-perfect family, they said such a perception would vanish quickly if people knew them better.

"We're real and we all have our own issues and we have our own faults and all that stuff," Josh Romney said. "Obviously, we're not going to go on TV and tell everyone about them, but we all have our own thing."

Said Tagg Romney: "Come to my house on a Sunday morning when we're trying to get ready for church. We have six kids and we're running around and a lot of yelling is going on and a lot of frantic. It takes a lot of work.

"But, hopefully, even though we have disagreements with each other, we still all love each other and we like to be with each other."

Growing up, the Romney brothers said they were typical boys and got into disagreements with their parents. Matt Romney ran away from home, but never for more than 30 minutes or so.

"I'd run away all the time and just be outside hiding in a bush watching TV, hoping that everyone was just, you know, missing me," he said, laughing.

Of all the brothers, Tagg Romney confessed to being the "grumpiest teenager" and said he would get into arguments over "stupid things" with his father.

"It's just little things that would bug me about my dad," he recalled. "You know, his pants were too short or he was chewing too loudly. To look back ... I laugh at myself now, but when you're 16, they bug you."

One of the complaints the brothers have about their father now is his taste (or lack thereof) in movies.

"There isn't a movie he doesn't like. He just loves movies," Matt Romney said. "He gets so entertained. ... You kind of say, 'Did you see that movie?' kind of the worst movie I ever seen -- 'Oh, I just loved it.' He just loves it."

When it comes to music, Mitt Romney's favorite musician is Roy Orbison, according to his sons. They said his favorite song is "Crying" and that he has been known to belt it out around the house.

On nomination night, Romney's sons said they hope that America will get to know the man they've always known.

"We know what he's all about and I think people will really get a chance to see he's a great family man, he's a great leader. He's got a lot of big ideas for the country," said Matt Romney.

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