Ann Romney to push back on family image in convention speech

TAMPA, Fla. — Ann Romney, the wife of the GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney, will declare her husband “the man America needs” when she delivers her primetime address to the GOP convention on Tuesday evening.

The would-be first lady will offer a more personal view of Romney than voters have been accustomed to hearing from the reticent candidate. But Ann Romney will nonetheless still frame her appeal in terms of the central message of the Romney campaign: that her husband would be a more effective chief executive for the country than President Obama has been.

“This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair,” she will say, according to excerpts released by the Romney campaign. “This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.”

Ann Romney will also seek to push back against the notion that she and her family have enjoyed a gilded existence. Critics have sought to keep the spotlight on the fact that Mitt Romney’s net worth has been estimated at up to $250 million. But Ann Romney will focus both on the long road to success trod by the candidate’s late father, George Romney, and her own struggles with ill-health.

“Mitt’s dad never graduated from college,” she will say. “Instead, he became a carpenter. He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.”

In perhaps the most personal passage of the speech, she will say: “I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage.’ Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called ‘MS’ or ‘Breast Cancer.’

“A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.”