The Mitt Romney We Know — Private Observation

Some of you may have seen this story making its way around the internet. I received it from a friend and, after contacting the author, decided, with his permission, to give it a broader distribution here, with very little editing. The author’s email is also provided below.

A version of this story, as well as an interview of its author, was reported on Florida television a few days ago. Watch the video, read the post and decide for yourself what version of Mitt Romney is accurate: what’s portrayed in the popular press or the experience of this unbiased observer.

Regardless of who any of us are supporting in the presidential election, we all are better served by knowing the truth as this does influence who we support. It was not approved by Mitt Romney or his campaign.

As you may know we own Mitt Romney’s former home. Corinne and I have written a non-political-issue story that you very likely have not heard. We did this because many Democratic, Republican and Independent voters strongly recommended and found it valuable. Private details, how he acted out of public view and when not running for office. We are messengers, delivering facts. Not initially his supporters nor anti-Obama. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many Americans have been led to believe.

Ours is a factual story that provides a rare glimpse and insight into the real Mitt Romney. Does he really relate to the average American? As President, would he impose his beliefs on others? Is he really Christian?

When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public’s view and when they are not running for office. Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney’s Park City, Utah home. His family lived in this home for about ten years. Because our deal included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware. What we experienced was not what we expected. Not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.

When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time. We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home’s equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems.

To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family’s clothes, his family’s photos, his family’s mementos, his grandchildren’s toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck. Then, after answering all our questions Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck and began the long drive to his new home by himself.

The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. There are no maid, butler or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware. The kitchen was simple and typical of an average three bedroom home, very much like those in which we were raised. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store.

In the most honored place in the master bedroom hung a painting of Jesus Christ. Most Americans know little about Mormonism and we didn’t either. Mitt Romney clearly had a home of faith and family just like the rest of us.

One of the most interesting questions many have asked is, “As president will he impose his beliefs on others?” Many claim that a President Romney would take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. The Romney home contents gave us insight into this question. One of the strongest Mormon beliefs is the prohibition against drinking alcohol. We were surprised to find a small supply which we were told was available for guests, not for the family. Mitt Romney had a respect for his guest’s wishes. By not imposing his beliefs on others even within his own home, then clearly a President Romney would not take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. Those making such accusations should stop. The facts do not support their claims.

It is amazing what can be learned about someone from observing the smallest details. In the Romney’s family mud room, where the boots and outdoor clothing were stored, we found the Governor’s ski gloves. One of his son’s apologized for his dad’s lack of concern about his appearance when Mitt went skiing because the gloves would surely be noticed. They were worn out and had holes in the fingers. Mitt had gone to the garage tool box and wrapped them with duct tape. Thrifty? Yes, and the repair provided an immediate practical solution rather than traveling to the store to buy a new pair. His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities, but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.

As you have read, our story is not about a wealthy man’s nice home or its beautiful contents. It is about the story they tell and how our experiences with him showed the real Mitt Romney. How his family truly lived is a real indication of their values and beliefs. There is more we could tell, but hope we have provided enough facts to answer some key questions on many voters’ minds. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many of us have been led to believe. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch. He is a man of faith, family and American values. A guy who is well-grounded. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done. The fact that he has allowed this to be kept so very private is a true testament to his character and shows how different he is from many other politicians.

Who are we and why are we speaking out? Growing up in Florida and Pennsylvania, we knew little to nothing of Utah, Mitt Romney, his family or values, beliefs, religion and his capabilities. We were amazed by what we learned. We want nothing more than for our fellow citizens to know what we know. We are not part of any campaign, not Mormon nor religious activists. We have voted for Democrats and Republicans and were not Governor Romney supporters. Hal is a farmer, race car driver and retired after creating a number of successful businesses. Corinne is a retired government employee. We do not come from wealthy families. Our parents worked average jobs. Our fathers were a mailman and an engineer. Our mothers were a nurse and a housewife. We struggled, worked hard and are grateful for having been rewarded over the years. We have never given up on achieving the American dream. But the story we tell is not about us.

As Americans, we depend on our press to provide us with factual and unbiased information. We hear politicians sometimes misspeak and others take their statements out of context. Many times it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Over the past few months, we have noticed how different from reality some of the public perceptions and media presentations of Governor Romney are. Unfortunately, some political opponents spread false information and misconceptions. This is wrong.

This injustice and the value of our story has led us to speak up and provide these facts. No one can say with absolute certainty what kinds of decisions a president will make while still a candidate for that office. To predict, we only have access to their words, history and if available the most useful facts of all, how they acted out of public view and when they are not running for office. This is why our story is so important, valuable and must be told. No doubt some will want to dismiss our story, argue that it is not newsworthy nor relevant and possibly subject us to an undesired spot light. However, we hope the American people are given the opportunity to hear the truth, especially when the facts directly contradict what many people think to be true.

Corinne & Hal Prewitt

This story reminded me of a number of other reports of Mitt Romney silently, and without seeking credit, performing selfless service for others. Below is one more post of many that could be found by searching YouTube.

The story was reported locally in San Diego here.

Again, judge for yourself. Attentive readers may recall I’ve given my own point of view on this topic before in this prior post. The private observations all bear a consistent message about Mitt, and it’s not the caricature of a wealthy man insensitive to the plight of the less fortunate. On the contrary.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is an attorney for venture capitalists and their portfolio companies by day, husband and father of three teenage boys by night. He’s an avid supporter of Mitt Romney for president and, as a graduate of Brigham Young University, a BYU football and basketball fan. Paul also enjoys competing in triathlons. Because he’s in the “Clydesdale” (over 200 lb.) class, he has even had podium finishes from time to time. Paul also has the distinction of being a big enough U2 fan to be willing to travel to Dublin to see them in their native environment.

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About Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is an attorney for venture capitalists and their portfolio companies by day, husband and father of three teenage boys by night. He's an avid supporter of Mitt Romney for president and, as a graduate of Brigham Young University, a BYU football and basketball fan. Paul also enjoys competing in triathlons. Because he's in the "Clydesdale" (over 200 lb.) class, he has even had podium finishes from time to time. Paul also has the distinction of being a big enough U2 fan to be willing to travel to Dublin to see them in their native environment.
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14 Responses to The Mitt Romney We Know — Private Observation

  1. BenInOregon says:

    In case you think this is one of those Internet fabracated stories that sounds too good to be true? Check out Hal’s racing site
    Granted he might lean Repubs but when folks stick their necks out like this, in THIS election. Makes me very grateful that Mitts story is being told by good and honest americans

  2. Wanda McCulloch says:

    I have not had the privilege of meeting Mitt Romney but having been LDS for many years and being the wife of a Bishop and while me being the Stake President’s secretary, I know first-hand the responsibilities of those positions. These are voluntary positions… no financial pay but sooo many blessings come from serving. I know in my heart that Gov. Romney is not there for power or the glory of being President…. only to help the country return to its former self, that of being a Christian country as was founded by our fore-fathers. Yes, he is reserved and very private but that means he won’t share our nation’s secrets with anyone, not even his wife. Once he takes the Oath of President he will live up to every word it contains.

  3. Cathy says:

    Paul, thank you so much for providing this story of the real man, Gov. Romney, behind the scenes. Yes, character is revealed when no one is looking, and Mitts is stellar. I want to thank Mr and Mrs. Prewitt for taking the time to write about their experience with Mitt. They impress me as people with great character as well and I thank them for stepping up. I’ve have heard of 100s of stories of the wonderful man Mitt is and would challenge anyone to step forward too, with their story. A man like Mitt is a rare exception in todays “win at any cost” society. Mitt is a humble honorable man who is not looking for fame or fortune, but for a better life of freedom and prosperity for all Americans, for now and in generations to come.

    We NEED this man now…there may not be another chance.

  4. anna ennis says:

    Thank you forr the paper on Mitt Romney. I am a Democrat,who will cross party lines again,to VOTE for Mitt Romney. Last time, I vote for John McCann.

    I pray that his job as President,that, he can help our country and make it stronger.

  5. anna ennis says:

    I am,also, a Senior,retired on Social Security. I still will vote for Mitt Romney.

  6. Lauren Deans Ramirez says:

    It is true what what you all have read here, I have a true Wittness from my Holy Ghost about his genuine true character. He will make a great President I believe People will be and feel safe in his care, He will not make anybody be in a religion they don’t want to be in. but then if his goodness is desired, what ts wrong with that? If it is for good that is a good thing. you even can continue your own way of life, as long as it’s within the laws,

  7. Bob says:

    I went to high school with Mitt Romney and had the privilege of living down the street from him. Mitt was fun-loving, but also modest and very genuine. His parents set an excellent example. Even when his father was governor of Michigan, he would return to Cranbrook to have his hair cut by the school’s barber. I only found this out years later–that’s how low-key the Romney family kept things. This account by the Prewitts is exactly how those of us who grew up near the Romney family found them to be. My deep concern is that this will be read only by those already supporting Mitt. Everyone in this country needs to know what a compassionate, giving, and truly modest person he is.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Loved this story…thank you so much for sharing this. I don’t think I have EVER heard a good story of Mr. Obama’s character…only negative stories. Please do your homework everyone…character matters!

  9. Pingback: Mitt Romney Central | The Romney’s on Fox News Sunday, a Personal Perspective | Mitt Romney Central

  10. ccr says:

    Fantastic story!! Mitt is a HUMBLE man whose desire to serve our country to help change its dangerous direction is extremely admirable. Look at the “garbage” thrown at him in the primary and headed into the general. Grateful for a great man and woman willing to put themselves through some of the “garbage”.

    Love that he has an equal partner in intelligence and love for America in his VP choice! What a terrific team!! They couldn’t be a better answer for prayers…….

    Speaking of prayers………..they have to continue for our country and freedoms!

  11. Annette S says:

    Great story!

    I really don’t understand the notion that Mitt hasn’t been able to connect with people because of his wealth. Frankly I think it has been fueled by the opposition and his opponents in the primaries. Anyone who listens to his interviews, speeches and has read about his acts of kindness knows differently.

    For me and I know for many others, it is clear that Mitt Romney cares very much about our Country. He is running for President, not for power, but to strengthen our economy, preserve our freedoms and national security.

    Romney/Ryan 2012!!

  12. Rod Bridge says:

    I served as a missionary in Paris France the same time as Mitt Romney and he was an excellent missionary. I had lots of admiration and respect for how he worked so diligently to teach the people of France about Christ. He eventually was the assistant ti the mission president helping run the mission, and doing a fabulous job at age 20 years old.

  13. nkgilbert says:

    Isn’t it time we had a President who could run this country for profit, keeping the shareholders (us) happy?

  14. Ken M says:

    I’m amazed at all the positive feedback, not sure if that’s because Mitt supporters are the only people who visit Mitt Central, or if it’s a sign that the administrator is moderating comments, only letting positive stuff through? ;0)