Tagg Romney: Father wanted to be president ‘less than anyone I’ve met’

In an interview with the Boston Globe, GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney’s son Tagg described his father as reluctant to run for the presidency and hesitant to reveal his personal side during the long campaign.

“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to … run,” said Tagg, according to the report.

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“If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside,” he continued.” “He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”

According to the report, Romney was shaken by his 2008 failed bid to capture the GOP nomination and was wary of a second run.  The former Massachusetts governor initially told family members he would not run again.

The Globe article highlights former Romney staffers’ efforts to review the campaign and identify their missteps. One sharp divide within the campaign was over whether Romney should have shared more of his private side with voters.

The report says Tagg compiled a list of 12 people whose lives had been touched by his father and whom he believed would provide compelling stories to help present his father to voters. 

But Tagg’s efforts split Romney’s senior advisors. Some pressed for the former Massachusetts governor to tell more of his personal story.  Others, though, expressed concern that opening up Romney would leave the candidate susceptible to more attacks over his wealth and his Mormon faith, allowing him to be painted as out-of-touch or unable to relate to average voters.

Tagg and his family members pressed for a short documentary film or a series of campaign ads to share more personal stories, but those efforts were opposed by senior strategist Stuart Stevens and ultimately dropped. 

While Stevens denied nixing the documentary film, he defended his management of the campaign in an interview, saying he wanted Romney to keep the focus on President Obama’s handling of the economy. 

“When you come into a job interview, you don’t start showing family pictures,” said Stevens according to the report.

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