By Alicia M. Cohn - 10/18/12 04:00 PM EDT
Ann Romney, in her first appearance on ABC's "The View" on Thursday, sought to make amends with the five female hosts her husband has described as "sharp tongued" interviewers.
“He will not run again, nor will I do anything like that again,” she said.
Ann Romney made similar comments after Romney’s first campaign for the Republican nomination four years ago.
The prospective first lady made a solo visit to "The View" after her husband canceled plans to make a joint appearance with her on the program. The Romney campaign cited scheduling conflicts for the candidate's absence.
The Republican nominee had agreed to be a guest on the "The View" following the release in September of a secretly taped video from a campaign fundraiser earlier this year, in which he called appearing on the show "high risk" because the female hosts were “sharp tongued” and too liberal.
"Of the five women on it, only one is conservative and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative," he said.
“No, he said sharp and young,” Ann Romney quipped of her husband’s comments, starting off her guest spot on a light note.
Although the women of “The View” reacted strongly to Romney’s comments about them, co-host Barbara Walters on Thursday acknowledged that it was true, they are in fact “sharp tongued.”
The hosts expressed their disappointment at his absence, especially as Ann Romney refused to be drawn into defending his policies.
“I am here to reflect the character of the person I know,” she said. “The character of the person I know is that for every decision he will make, he will [ask], ‘Is this the best thing for America to go forward?’ That’s where his heart is. And if you know where a person’s heart is, I think you know where they will go.”
She did defend his shift in position as Massachusetts governor from campaigning on a pledge to protect abortion rights to opposing abortion with exceptions. Romney shifted his stance about two years into his first term as governor, when the state was considering new stem cell legislation.
“He could not have on his conscience creating human life for experimentation,” she explained. She went on to say that she believes Romney has respect for the people on both sides of the bioethics question.
“This is an issue that is so tender,” she said. “There are people on both sides of the issue that, with very good conscience, come with a different opinion.”
Asked for her own opinion, Ann Romney said she is not running for office and is happy that “I don’t have to say what I feel.”
“But I am pro-life. I’m happy to say that,” she added.
She also corrected co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s assertion that Mormons don’t believe in serving in the military.
Romney did not serve in Vietnam because he was serving his church on a two-year mission in France, and none of the five Romney sons have served in the military.
“I think probably I would say its probably the hardest thing that a president and a first lady probably do is to comfort those who have lost someone,” she said. "The hardest thing that Mitt had to do” as governor of Massachusetts was attending military funerals.
She then pivoted to discussing economic issues, estimating that “95 percent” of the women she talks to on the campaign trail are more concerned with economic issues this year than with so-called "women’s issues" such as reproduction, which have by trumpeted by Democrats this cycle.
Josh Romney accompanied his mother to the show and sat in the audience. The five hosts grilled him about a comment this week from eldest brother, Tagg.
Tagg Romney told a North Carolina radio station on Wednesday that during the presidential debate earlier this week, he was so frustrated at the president calling his dad a liar he wanted to "jump out of [his] seat and ... rush down the debate stage and take a swing at him."
“That brother has slugged me a couple of times; I am sure President Obama has nothing to worry about,” Josh Romney joked.
“You really don’t like to see your dad get beat up by the media or by President Obama, or whatever it is. That was just something he was saying off-the-cuff, and I assure you he didn’t mean it.”