PALM HARBOR — The morning after Ann Romney spoke at the Republican National Convention about how personable her husband Mitt is, two of their sons were dispatched to the Florida delegation breakfast to hammer home the message.
Ben and Craig Romney spoke at the Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort of how their mom and dad instilled in them values — not a vast fortune — that has led to their own success.
"How about my mom last night?" Ben Romney said. "I'm so proud of her. I knew she was going to be great, I didn't know she was going to be that great. I loved how she painted a picture of growing up in that household. It was accurate."
No wonky discussions about Obamacare or immigration policy here. The two were there as "experts" on Romney's character.
As the waiters and waitresses huddled in the kitchen so they didn't disturb the guests during the speech, the Romney boys talked about the exceptional nature of their family.
Ben talked about being woken on Saturday mornings to do yard work, moving rocks from one side of the yard to the other.
"Our dad wanted to teach us the value of hard work," said Ben, a value that was passed on from George Romney, his grandfather, all the way down to him.
"That's what makes America such an incredible place," Ben said. "It's a place where you can work hard, where you can take some risks along the way, you can do or be anything because of the opportunities here, because of the society that we have here. People on the other side of the aisle want to turn us into a society of entitlements, where we are coddled by the government. But that's not the American way. The American way is to work hard and to take risks."
Craig spoke more about Romney as governor of Massachusetts, how he worked with Democrats and, "without raising taxes, left office with a billion-dollar surplus."
That's an applause line, but it's also a highly questionable claim. The actual state budget, upon Romney's departure, had a projected deficit.
But minutes later, Craig reminded the crowd his real role here.
"I'm not a policy expert," Craig said. "I'm not going to tell you why his jobs plan makes sense. It does. But I'm not going to go into the details. The perspective I can offer is a little more of the personal side of what kind of man my dad is."
And that would be a highly successful man.
"Success has followed my dad everywhere he has gone," Craig Romney said. "And I don't think that's a coincidence."