Mitt Romney's sons did not want him to run for president
MITT Romney’s sons have said they were "reluctant" for their father to run for president again, admitting on a US talk show last night that they actively discouraged him from attempting to seek the Republican nomination.
The five boys, who appeared relaxed in jeans and open-necked shirts in the joint interview, said they were “hesitant” about the renewed bid but realised it would be the best thing for the country
The guest appearance was the first time members of Mitt Romney's family have appeared on late-night television during this election cycle.
“We’re nervous about it. Our lives are pretty good as they are and this is one of those things where we recognise it is good for the country for my father to run but not necessarily good for us.
"We’re going to try and keep out lives as normal and consistent as we can possibly be over the next few years,” Josh Romney told TBS host Conan O’Brien.
Behind him, his brother Matt confessed that he had tried to persuade his father not to run again because he knew exactly what it would entail a second time around.
“I was really reluctant. I didn’t want him to do it. I tried to convince him not to. I think there were a few of us who tried that. I know you didn’t [gesturing to Tagg], but I just felt like, for us as a family, this isn’t the best thing. But, as Josh said, for the country we think it’s the right thing," he said.
The comments follow Josh Romney being heckled by Ron Paul supporters and booed offstage at an election rally last week, highlighting some of the challenges on the campaign trail. The family has also been scrutinised for their vast wealth, including the purchase of a $55,000 car elevator for the family home in San Diego.
More light-heartedly, the five sons also spoke candidly about their father’s love of pranks, ability to moonwalk and love of singing.
Tagg Romney, who also has five children, recalled a story about his father playing a trick on a friend who was about to get married, painting the letters HE and LP on the soles of his shoes in pink nail varnish.
“Nobody noticed it but – it was a Catholic wedding – when he [the groom] knelt down to be blessed by the Father the words HE LP appeared,” he said, laughing.
“I’m not sure they are still friends,” he added.
But Gov Romney didn’t find it as amusing when one of his sons – Matt – played a prank on him using voice recordings of the then Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“For a few months I was fearing retribution I really was,” Mitt Romney said, having posted the entire trick on to the internet.
The segment ended with Conan O'Brien explaining how he had managed to convince the five brothers to appear together in the joint interview, saying he had bumped into Josh Romney in an airport security queue.
The interview will be a welcome boost among young voters, seen as an important battleground between Romney and Obama in the forthcoming November election.