Governor Mitt Romney and his five sons:
(left to right) Craig, Ben, Tagg, The Gov, Josh, and Matt.
They could become America’s first sons…
Mitt and Ann Romney’s five sons are known for their indefatigable help during the last presidential primary process (remember the Five Brothers’ Blog and MittMobile?), their loyalty, their good looks, and their love of competition. Busy as they are this time around, whenever possible, they’re quick to hop on the campaign trail to lend a hand in any way.
NBC’s Peter Alexander got them together for an interview airing on ‘Rock Center’ this Thursday, July 19th (10PM-9central):
… Ranging in age from 31 to 42, their names are Craig, Ben, Josh, Matt, and Tagg…
Just like any group of brothers, they like to pick on each other, even during their first sit-down interview of the 2012 campaign. They say Josh, the middle son, is the mama’s boy.
“Thanks guys. Let’s take it easy here,” replied Josh, one of three Romney sons who works in real estate. Another son is a doctor. The eldest runs a private equity firm like their father once did.
They are all married and have a combined total of 18 children. If Romney wins, he’ll have more grandkids than any sitting president in U.S. history.
The Romney boys grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts where the work and service ethic was instilled in them, as well as having fun together. They later all attended Brigham Young University (as did their parents). Three continued on to receive MBA’s from Harvard (like The Gov) and another attended Tufts University School of Medicine and University of Utah School of Medicine.
…[W]hen it came to Romney’s second run for the White House, four of his five boys didn’t want him to run.
“I didn’t want him to run again. I really didn’t,” Matt said, “I thought you know, you gave it your best shot in 2008, you felt like you had to do it, you had to go and give back to the country and you tried, and they didn’t take you, so let’s move on.”
Matt and the others eventually came around. And again the Romney 5 have joined in Mitt Romney’s march to the White House.
…[T]he biggest criticism is that the wealthy Romney family can’t understand the economic challenges facing the average American family. The sons insist their family and their father are not out of touch.
“We’ve obviously been very blessed,” Craig said, “And because of that we feel a responsibility to make sure we can do everything we can to make this country as great as it can be.”
“His [Gov Romney] true identity will come out and we know what a great father he is, we know how much he loves the country, we know how much he loves our kids,” Matt said, “It’s not ambition that’s driving him. It is really a desire to give back, and this is how he thinks he can give back. And we agree.”
The magnificent five (To view fullscreen, click on ‘options’.) :
Romney brothers describe each other in one word:
It’s clear Mitt and Ann did a wonderful job of raising their sons. They each bring their own strengths to this well-rounded, service-oriented family. It’s always great to see them, their wives, and children at various campaign events.
What a moment it will be to see all of them on the stand at the August RNC convention when Governor Romney is officially declared the Republican presidential nominee!
Photography has fascinated me my entire life. I can sit and study one photograph for an hour sometimes. Check out three photographs of Mitt Romney from years gone by. These are three of my favorites of 30 photographs published by BuzzFeed. My absolute favorites of the 30 are #3 (love baseball) and #13 because it is one awesome family photograph! Does it get any better than that one? Oh, and number 2 looks like little Mitt just got caught in his very first prank!
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (Photo by Charles Krupa / AP)
former U.S. Senator,
GOP primary candidate, posted today
Big announcement coming on Friday – be sure and check back!
Readers are invited to ruminate, hazard a guess, and generally chew it over in our comments section…
UPDATE – June 5, 2012: Not content to sit in Santorum’s bag until Friday, the cat is out:
On Tuesday, sources close to Santorum tell ABC News that the former presidential candidate will be announcing the formation of a 501 c(4) organization that he will use to pursue a set of issues he has fought for during much of his political career.
This first wave of issues is likely to focus on an agenda that includes anti-abortion and faith and family causes.
It’s not clear yet where the new 501 c(4) will be operating out of, but last month the pro-Santorum super PAC, the Red, White, and Blue Fund, became a hybrid political action committee that will also work as a traditional leadership PAC to push Santorum’s message, support his political travel, cover administrative costs and donate money to candidates he supports with similar views. This new issues-oriented push from Santorum could easily operate out of this leadership PAC
There you have it.
Hat tip to MRC moderator KarenK for hearing the ‘meow’.
Mitt and Ann Romney with youngest son, Craig, and his, wife Mary.
After hosting a Memorial Day tribute in San Diego, CA last week, Republican presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney and wife, Ann, invited FOX News’ Bill Hemmer to hang out with them at their youngest son’s home (Craig) in San Diego. Hemmer aired his interviews under the banner of Getting to Know the Romneys. (Videos are posted here.)
I found a bonus ‘postscript’ video of that day which features Craig Romney sharing more about his parents. Enjoy!
Bill Hemmer: “What kind of advice has he [Gov Romney] passed to you?”
Craig Romney: “He’s rarely kind of taken me aside and said you need to do this and you need to that. It’s always been more of a ‘lead by example’ … and, just kind of watching him as I grew up – seeing his dedication, his integrity…”
A couple of wonderful photos of the day’s earlier events…
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (right), and San Diego 'Veteran of the Year' Marine David Dickey (left), stand together at Romney's Memorial Day Tribute at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center, May 28, 2012 in San Diego, CA.
(Photo by Mary Altaffer / AP)
Governor Romney greets veterans after speaking at a Memorial Day Tribute at the Veterans Musem & Memorial Center, May 28, 2012 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Mary Altaffer /AP)
NOTE: Romney supporters and GOP commentators frequently say insight/stories as to who Governor Romney really is should be shared with the public. That information will likely be given in bits and pieces – not an ‘Obama style’ full-on documentary. This short video is a good opportunity to share a bit of enlightenment about Mitt Romney – the man.
Mitt Romney talks with FOX News' Bill Hemmer - San Diego, CA May 28, 2012
After Mitt Romney’s Memorial Day Tribute in San Diego was over, he and Ann sat down to talk with Bill Hemmer, co-host of America’s Newsroom (FOX News). Hemmer said it wasn’t going to be a policy interview, but an attempt to learn more about the two of them and the campaign. Long-time Romney supporters like hearing that! It’s time for America to know what we know – that two nicer people can’t be found.
America, you’re in for a treat! Here are the first two videos:
Part 1 – Getting to the know the Romneys
Part 2 – Mitt and Ann Romney talk faith and family
UPDATE: I like the red, white, and blue combo of Mitt and Ann’s shirts, but just realized the floral print our next First Lady is wearing are poppies – for Memorial Day. Nice touch, Ann!
Good stuff! Additional segments are posted below the fold. (more…)
Today, Romney for President released a new web video, Soul Mate. On World Multiple Sclerosis Day, Ann Romney and her family share their thoughts on her struggle with the disease. Ann and her sons also recount Mitt’s undying support to the woman he calls his “soul mate.”
This video is a very small, but revealing, window into the courage of Ann Romney and the unwavering strength of the Romney’s marriage and family.
Ann has said, if she should become our next First Lady, MS awareness would be one of the issues she would promote.
My heart goes out to all who suffer from this disease.
How often have you heard of a church bringing a lawsuit against the President of the United States? It has happened, but certainly not often. This week it was not just any church that brought suit against the Obama administration — it was the Roman Catholic Church no less! I honestly believe that Mr. Obama couldn’t care less if his signature health plan seriously erodes religious liberty in extraordinary ways. I doubt that Mr. Obama wanted to energize religious voters against him, but he has done it.
Photo: Associated Press
Fascinating it is to observe the Obama administration’s trampling of centuries honored religious liberty under the guise of “women’s rights.” The Wall Street Journal carried three excellent articles on this unprecedented move by the Catholic church; one was on the front page of the printed version yesterday — Catholics Sue Over Health Mandate:
The University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and 41 other Roman Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration in federal court Monday, the latest push against a requirement in the health-care-overhaul law that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans.
The lawsuits were brought in a dozen different jurisdictions in the U.S., and plaintiffs included the Catholic University of America and archdioceses serving Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
“The government…cannot justify its decision to force Notre Dame to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate access to these services in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs,” Notre Dame’s lawsuit argues. “If the government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the government’s power.”
Consider the centuries old traditions of Catholics and their families.
The plaintiffs object to a provision that requires most employers to cover all preventive health services including contraception as part of their insurance policies, without out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Sterilization was one of the methods of birth control included, as was the so-called morning-after pill.
“We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress—and we’ll keep at it—but there’s still no fix,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”
[...] “We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings,” he said.
That law says the government can “substantially burden” people in practicing their religion only if it can show that there is a “compelling governmental interest” and that its policy is “the least restrictive means of furthering” that interest.
Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation’s diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide “the full range of reproductive services,” including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.
Continued attempts to solve the problem by negotiation produced only an announcement by the Obama administration in February that insurance providers would pay for the contested services. Since many Catholic entities are self-insured and the others pay the premiums, the bishops’ concerns were not alleviated.
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women’s health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.
The media have implied all along that the dispute is mainly of concern to a Catholic minority with peculiar views about human sexuality. But religious leaders of all faiths have been quick to see that what is involved is a flagrant violation of religious freedom. That’s why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared, “We’re all Catholics now.”
More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.
If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. “Never before,” he said, “have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith.”
With this week’s lawsuits, the bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country, Catholic and non-Catholic, who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions.
[...]The nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions are saying that the same federal government they have viewed for decades as an ally in their fight for social justice is now a threat to their religious liberty.
This can’t have been an easy decision, especially because the plaintiffs are hardly founding members of the tea party. They include the Archdioceses of New York and Washington but also Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and even the University of Notre Dame.
So much for that. The lawsuit signals that far from engaging with “those who disagree,” Mr. Obama has rebuffed Catholic leaders in their attempt to work out a compromise over the Administration’s mandate that all insurance plans offer contraception and sterilization services, including abortifacients. . . .
The Department of Health and Human Services offered a fig leaf in February, foisting the mandate onto insurance companies rather than religious employers. [...] As Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York put it, this so-called “safe habor” effectively gives religious institutions “a year to figure out how to violate [their] consciences.”
The suit charges that the mandate violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, as well as the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires that the federal government meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty.
[...] The real and startling question at issue is whether the entitlement state can pound everything, including religious belief, to its political will. Few previous Administrations would have dared such a high-stakes Constitutional battle, but Mr. Obama’s willfulness reveals the change that is taking place in liberal politics.
Once upon a time the political left viewed Catholics and especially the bishops as their allies in using government to create more equal opportunity and redistribute income. But today’s Democratic Party puts a higher cultural value on sexual politics and expanded reproductive freedom. We trust the courts will instruct the Administration that the Constitution still puts religious liberty first.
“Religious freedom is too sacred a right to be restricted or prohibited in any degree without convincing proof that a legitimate interest of the state is in grave danger.” ~ Frank Murphy
“On Mother’s Day, Mitt always brings me lilacs, a tradition he started the year I became a mother. When our home is filled with their fragrance, it reminds me of so many things, and stirs so many emotions…” ~ Ann Romney
A true story by Mike Adams caught my eye a couple of weeks ago. It was published during the latter part of April on Townhall.com and is perfect for today (Don’t skip ahead to the ending!):
Mr. Adams, or Mike as I shall refer to him, had just come back from being out of town. With the weekend approaching, he was in a frantic rush to complete necessary errands. One of the important items on his to-do list was to make some deposits at his bank. As luck would have it, he chose the worst day of the week and the worst time of day to take care of his banking:
There was only one teller working and the line was about fifteen people deep. After waiting patiently, I got close to the front of the line. Looking back at the dozen or so people who had entered the line after me, I was relieved that the wait was almost over. Unfortunately, the elderly woman who was making a deposit was requiring a lot more assistance than the others who had gone before her.
She must have been 85 years old. She held a cane in one hand and wore a thick pair of glasses that were visible only after she peeled away her sunglasses. They were the kind of sunglasses that fit over her regular glasses and were big enough to block harmful rays from even the nastiest of solar eclipses. They were the kind that retirees used to wear to watch shuttle launches in south Florida. The kind people older people wear when they are consumed by practicality and no longer care as much about fashion.
When she was finally finished with her transaction, she started to make small talk with the teller behind the counter. She did not seem to notice that there were so many people in line behind her. The teller smiled and nodded at everything she said. The old lady told her she reminded her of her daughter. Then she asked the teller whether she had children. She just kept making conversation while the young woman behind the counter provided her with full and undivided attention. She seemed to feel sorry for her. It was as if she appreciated sitting where she was rather than occupying the elderly woman’s shoes.
Mike continues his story by elaborating about a younger, exasperated man who was standing in line. The guy made it very obvious he wasn’t happy with the old lady’s dilly-dallying:
He [the young man] glared impatiently at the teller as if to say that she should tell the elderly woman she was holding up the line. He even held out one of his hands and waved at the teller. He was signaling that he had been waiting long enough and that it was time his needs were met. But the teller kept nodding politely and giving the elderly woman her undivided attention.
Feeling someone should have said something to the impatient, agitated young man, Mike writes:
He should have understood why the elderly woman was clinging on to the conversation with the young teller. It was probably more than a reminder of her children. More likely, it was a reminder that she had not seen them or talked to them in quite some time.
As soon as she finished talking to the teller, the elderly woman walked out of the bank and headed across the parking lot towards her car. She was walking slowly and labored with every step as she leaned upon her cane for support. She had no one to help her. No husband. No son. No daughter. There was nothing to lean on but a cane.
As he watched the elderly lady make her way slowly and carefully across the parking lot, Mike felt a brief prick of conscience – that he should have given up his place in line – offered a helping hand and a kind word.
But, he didn’t.
After all, he had “places to go and things to do.”
Remorsefully, he concludes:
In case you haven’t figured it out, the impatient man in the line was me.
While speaking to graduates at Liberty University yesterday, Governor Romney said, “We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial…” He spoke of how easy it is to get caught up in the “busy-ness of life” and how “glimpses” of the creator’s work in our lives can “reawaken our hearts”.
Because of her own significant health challenges, Ann Romney often speaks of her increased awareness and compassion for those who are going through dark moments or suffering.
Mike Adams’ experience in the bank reawakened his heart to the value of an elderly woman; he saw her as someone’s mother.
If we’ll let it, Mother’s Day has the power to reawaken our hearts. In our own “busy-ness’ we can choose to allow time today to reflect on the marvelous, irreplaceable work of mothers – to think on the influence our own mothers have/had in our lives. If possible, today is the day to share our appreciative thoughts with them – to do something kind for them or any mother.
Here’s a fun video celebrating a few things Moms have passed down to their children (not promoting the sponsor):
Were you grinning while watching the video? I was! It reawakened deeper thoughts about my own mother. She instilled within me the joy of hard – really hard – work, being creative when cupboards were nearly bare, the love of reading, the trick to serving a mean overhand volleyball, how to bake a luscious pineapple-upside-down cake and fry a perfect easy-over egg. She rarely watched television, but did make time to giggle over old cable episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Hence, I have the goofy inclination to relish re-runs of Barney Fife’s antics in Mayberry! (That Thelma Lou was a saint…)
What physical attributes, personal qualities, or lessons did your mother pass on to you? While you’re thinking of your mom, here are a few good quotes on mothers:
“My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett [Soo my mother...]
“Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends—but only one mother in the whole world.” – Kate Douglas Wiggin
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” – Washington Irving
My new favorite:
“Cherish your mothers. The ones who wiped your tears, who were at every ball game or ballet recital. The ones who believed in you, even when nobody else did, even when maybe you didn’t believe in yourself.
Women wear many hats in their lives. Daughter, sister, student, breadwinner. But no matter where we are or what we’re doing, one hat that moms never take off is the crown of motherhood.
Ann Romney talks with FOX News' Martha Maccallum (Photo / FOX News)
America’s Newsroom co-anchor Martha MacCallum (FOX News) caught up with busy Ann Romney to talk about the presidential campaign. The two-part interview aired today:
While it’s presumed that Mitt Romney will be the GOP’s nominee for president, still up for debate is who he’ll pick for his running mate. Martha asked Ann whether they discuss the topic and who she would want to see get the spot on the ticket.
“It’s fun to talk about,” Ann disclosed. But, she wouldn’t say more than that. “I cannot come down and say [if there's someone I'm rooting for] … the wonderful thing right now is that there are wonderful people out there who are very qualified.”
MacCallum asked about Ann’s title given to her by campaign staffers – ‘Mitt-Stabilizer’:
“That is true. I think both of us enjoy each other’s company … and also I think when we get together we recognize what’s really important in life,” she said. “We’re able to laugh a lot and talk a lot about things that are not in the political realm.”
Ann was asked how she would feel if Governor Romney should lose the election:
Ann said she’s not too worried. “It will mean that we’ve given it our college try and done our very best,” she said. But in the end, she believes they’ll be taking up residence in the White House following the 2012 election.
MacCaullum mentioned the fact that Mrs. Romney could be celebrating Mother’s Day next year in the White House. Ann was asked about First Ladies she admired and issues she would promote as as America’s 47th First Lady:
. . . As for her mission as first lady if husband Mitt were to get elected, she said she would bring her own personality to the ‘job.’
“For me, of course, it’ll have something to do with the things I care about,” she said, mentioning her concern for breast cancer and MS research and awareneses. “I also worked for many years with at-risk youth, so I know I wouldn’t be able to give that up either.”
She has plenty of role models to pull from, as well. “I love Barbara Bush and her frankness … and yet her realness,” she said. “Laura Bush was so lady-like and just wonderful.
She also weighed in on the current first lady, Michelle Obama. “I think she’s lovely, and everyone can appreciate that it’s a very difficult position to be in, where your husband is under enormous scrutiny all the time and attacks from one side or the other, and to be able to keep your calm and composure – we appreciate that and see that in her.”
Ms. MacCallum brought up the topic of religion and also asked how Ann’s health challenges affected her and Mitt.
Needless to say, Ann Romney interviews are always a great pleasure to view. Not only does she possess the very qualities she admires in the First Ladies she commented on – the composure of Michelle Obama, the grace of Laura Bush, the realness of Barbara Bush – America will have the great pleasure of learning more of Ann’s humor, intelligence, compassion, wisdom, and tenacity.
Ann Romney is going to be an outstanding First Lady!
Once again, President Obama leads from behind. Vice President Joe Biden (the first major decision Obama made before being elected) committed the ‘oopsie’ by spilling the beans on same-sex marriage. And boy, this guy does not stop making gaffes, speaking his mind out of the blue, and creating some serious trouble for the President. Biden forced the President to do what he basically knows best – react.
Not that Obama took a dramatic turn, or as reported, evolved on the issue of same sex marriage. As Buzzfeed reports, Obama had the same position in 1996, before he opposed it in 2008. My observation is that Obama will do anything possible to energize the base, to get liberals out to vote, by diverting the conversation and taking a lead on some issue that matters to them as an ideology but not as a mainstream, citizen-caring theme.
Mitt Romney successfully defeated his primary rivals largely by running a disciplined campaign centering around a dominating issue – the state of the economy. Romney’s strength against Obama is his ability to draw a sharp contrast with the President’s experience on job creation, the economy, and operating the federal government. Americans are mostly concerned with jobs and the economy.
Obama ain’t dumb; he’s at least as clever as me. Obama and his campaign observed over the past month the President’s eroding support among key elements and voting blocs (which contributed to his 2008 victory). The only way out was to avoid defending his record and go on offense – to portray his opponent as out of touch and energize the Obama base by giving them the needed red meat.
As brilliant as they might be, for every trap Messina and Axelrod set for Romney, he avoided them. And the only spin that seems to work or at least pick up traction is the same sex marriage issue. (Social issues handed Bush a second term.)
Romney and we Republicans must not fall into same-sex marriage trap. (Obama tried to rally his supporters by spiking the Osama Bin Laden football and it didn’t work.) Why help Obama unite his base, which in my eyes is more fractured than the GOP base? Look at what happened with Judd’s 42% in West Virginia’s primary and the 200K votes against the President in North Carolina.
We must continue to examine and hammer Obama’s record, not his evolving positions or fresh baked promises. Obama is the incumbent who must pay the price for not leading this country in the right direction. And only if we draw that sharp contrast on fiscal issues and appeal to the broader suffering base will we be able to carry that message through to November and replace the Obama administration for good.