Photos: Ann Romney says Mitt "doesn't fail" at pre-debate Littleton rally
Flanked by three of her eighteen grandchildren, Ann Romney told a crowd of supporters yesterday afternoon in Littleton that her husband is a compassionate man who doesn't fail. Her rally for Mitt on the eve of the high-stakes presidential debate in Denver shed light on the significance of Colorado in the final weeks of the race as well as the prospective first lady's role in selling the Republican presidential candidate as a caring family man.
Big photos below.
With a focus on personal anecdotes, and with the help of three slightly squirmy grandchildren by her side (a fourth, age four, stayed behind due to last-minute stage-fright), Ann Romney's emphasis on humanizing Mitt was clear during the rally.
She delivered the roughly fifteen-minute speech to a crowd that has had plenty of opportunities to support the Republican ticket up close. Mitt Romney rallied with John Elway in Denver on Monday night -- just a week after the former Massachusetts governor spoke to thousands in Jefferson County. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has made several stops in Colorado and Romney and Obama will meet face-to-face in the first presidential debate tonight at DU.
Sam Levin Ann Romney with her three grandchildren
"I have a few companions with me here," Ann Romney told the crowd, gesturing toward the grandchildren by her side.
"Come back -- we're gonna say hello!" she said, as one wandered away from her.
"These are three of the eighteen," Romney continued to loud applause from the crowd packed into the Hudson Gardens and Event Center. "It's fun to have them with us. They are always entertaining and always funny."
One of them, she recalled, recently asked her husband, "Have you beaten Obama yet?... What's taking so long?"
Another recently said to her, "If you win, will I see you as much?"
After some "awws" from the crowd, Romney said: "And I thought and I said, 'No, sweetie, you won't.' And then she said, 'I don't think I want you to win.' Then she thought and then she said, 'You know, I think that papa needs to be president...because I think the country needs him and the country's in trouble.' So this little eight-year-old figured it out.
"Kids say the darndest things, as you know!" Romney added.
In her speech, Romney spoke very little about policy, instead focusing on memories of her husband and his role in the family. Throughout the campaign, the presidential candidate has depended on his family as important surrogates that can help humanize him at rallies and events all over the country and in key swing states.
As national outlets have noted, Ann has also taken on a role as more of a defender of her husband and a cheerleader for women voters in the final weeks before election day.
"I'm grateful that we had the convention and that there were people that stood up and said, 'I am sick and tired of hearing about Mitt being mischaracterized. I'm going to stand up and I'm going to tell you about the person that I know,'" she said.
"In Colorado, you know you need someone that has compassion and that has the capacity to understand what people are going through, to have the solutions and to get the job done," she noted. "Do you know one thing I know about Mitt? He doesn't fail."
Romney ended her speech by warning of the impending doom that could result from four more years of Barack Obama: "We feel as though that light -- that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan spoke of -- is dimming. We sense that there is an absolute necessity to restore the founding principles that made this nation great. We're excited about the future.... And we are going to join with you in making sure that Colorado helps us win this election."
Sam Levin Ann Romney signing autographs after her speech.
Continue reading for more photos and reflections from supporters.