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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ann Romney focuses on family during women's breakfast



All five of Ann Romney's daughters-in-law helped introduce her at a women-themed fundraiser breakfast this morning. Jennifer, Andelyne, Laurie, Jen, and Mary each shared thoughts about their mother-in-law, who could be the nation's next first lady.

Jen Romney, wife to third son Josh, talked about going into labor during the holiday season while the family unknowingly prepared to proceed with Christmas dinner without them. When Ann realized that a grandchild was being born at the hospital, she packed everything up and the family had dinner together at the vending machine, Jen said.

"I love her so much," she said. "I love her like my own mom."

photo21.jpgAndelyne, fourth son Ben's wife, had this to say about Ann: "She's a really modern feminist. She’s a 21th-century woman.”

Janna Ryan, wife of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, gave brief remarks at the beginning of the program and appeared to be a tad nervous addressing the large crowd.

During a roughly 60-second speech, she thanked the Romneys for welcoming her to the campaign and characterized the election as about “our families, our children, our future.”

Mitt Romney appeared in a surprise video to introduce his wife, who then spoke for about 20 minutes in a speech heavy on themes of family and the strength of women. Following up on her primetime speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, she also continued to make the case for her husband's campaign.

Ann retold the story about encouraging Mitt to run again after the emotionally taxing and ultimately unsuccessful 2008 effort. She said Mitt had many reasons why he shouldn't try again. "Blah, blah, blah, blah," she recalled telling him. "I just said talk to the hand.”

Later, she spoke about how her husband has stayed by her side throughout her struggles with multiple sclerosis. He will take that same dedication to the White House, she said.

"Mitt will be a person when he’s in the White House that will be thinking about families, that will be thinking about women, that will be thinking for how we care for one another and how he will never abandon you," she said.

At the end, she was joined by a majority of her 18 grandchildren.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:30pm]


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