Romney wife in spotlight as Mitt tries to woo female vote
Published 31/12/2011 | 05:00
MITT Romney's wife has been thrust to the forefront of his campaign for the US Republican presidential nomination, in an attempt to soften his robotic image and clinch the votes of Iowan women.
All week Ann Romney has been introducing her husband of 42 years at rallies across the state -- which holds the contest's first vote on Tuesday -- with a lighter touch than his usual businesslike style.
Her approach contrasts sharply with that of Newt Gingrich's third wife, Callista, who remains largely silent and wears a rictus grin as she follows his ailing campaign.
"We hear you, we know what you are feeling," Mrs Romney (62), told voters at a rally in Des Moines yesterday. "But there is someone who is coming and he is going to help you."
Reflecting on how Mr Romney (66) "has been as a husband and a father", she said: "I trust that he'll always do the right thing."
Asked if he would win the Iowa caucuses, Mr Romney replied: "Oh, I don't have any idea who's going to win. I don't have those expectations. But we're going to do well."
Asked if he was worried about Ron Paul, the Texas congressman, Mr Romney paused and glared, before walking away.
Mr Gingrich said he regretted his complicated personal life. "In a different world, it would have been great not to have been divorced."
Mrs Romney's new prominence came as a CNN poll found 47pc of caucus-going women may change their mind about which candidate they support, compared with 40pc of men.
"Ann would make a beautiful First Lady," said Sheryl Soden, a 66-year-old retiree from Ames.
Mr Romney told supporters in the city that he used devious means to make Ann his "sweetheart". After a party, Mr Romney persuaded her date to let him drop her home instead, because he lived closer to her house. (© Daily Telegraph, London)