Ann Romney sat down with Good Housekeeping editor in chief Rosemary Ellis for an Election Special in the magazine’s November issue, hitting the stands on October 16. In her interview, after announcing that Mitt’s election will save the economy and Romney’s weakness is his temper, Mrs. Romney tells Ms. Ellis that we need to throw out the public education system because the teachers unions are preventing real change from happening to our educational system.
Without being able to remember his “simple” five point plan, Ann Romney promises that just electing Mitt Romney will improve the economy. She said, “Just his election itself is going to instantly turn up the gas and get people more optimistic, but he has five things that are simple for people to understand: One is to get rid of regulation; one is to start using our natural resources; one is to turn to human capital, which is education, and get that working again; and…oh, I’m not sure on the last two!”
Read an excerpt here:
GH: What are the steps your husband would take to improve the economy?
AR: Just his election itself is going to instantly turn up the gas and get people more optimistic, but he has five things that are simple for people to understand: One is to get rid of regulation; one is to start using our natural resources; one is to turn to human capital, which is education, and get that working again; and…oh, I’m not sure on the last two! (Laughs)
GH: Well, three is a very good start. A couple of years ago, we created the Green Good Housekeeping Seal as a way of helping consumers figure out what products are truly green versus what are just greenwashing claims. Are green issues something you think about?
AR: Everyone wants clean air and clean water. I mean, of course we all do. And then if you go to a country like China —
GH: Where there is no regulation…
AR: Where there is no regulation, and you see what’s wrong there and how people are dying younger there. And the pollution and the air quality is just abysmal, and people are having to live in that. You understand how important it is, but you also have to recognize that we have to balance those things.
GH: Can you tell me, what campaign issue is closest to your heart?
AR: I’ve been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people’s lives if they don’t get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers’ unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.
GH: What do you think your husband’s best quality is?
AR: Good judgment.
GH: And what habit of his do you wish you could change?
AR: Let’s see. He’s so good to me…I’m really stumped on that one. Isn’t that amazing?
GH: That is amazing.
AR: I guess the thing I’d say is he had to learn to control his temper a bit when the children were young. In other situations, he’s quick to flare, and I’ve seen him learn to control that, too. Most people have a very hard time changing their behavior, and I’ve been impressed that he’s actually seen [his temper] as a weakness and worked on it.
GH: What is the biggest misconception in the press about your husband?
AR: He is so warm and approachable, very spontaneous and funny in his private life — which is not what you see in his public life.
Mrs. Romney seems to believe that simply electing Mitt Romney will be good for the country’s economy, because people will feel more optimistic, but polling tells another story. The American people don’t trust Mitt Romney, and they don’t see him as “tough” enough to be president, even after he played the role of attack dog at the first presidential debate. Mitt Romney’s personal favorability has also always lagged way behind President Obama’s, which means that if anyone imparts a sense of optimism to the people, it’s not Mitt Romney. Romney is less popular than Sarah Palin in terms of favorability, if that puts it in perspective.
As for Mitt’s five point plan, Ann Romney can’t remember the last two points, but that isn’t a big deal since Mitt still won’t tell the American people any of the specifics of his Top Secret Plan to harvest the economy with trickle down economics.
Ann Romney is supposed to be the Romney campaign’s “secret weapon” but she just undid all of the work Mitt Romney did at the debate in pretending to move to the middle. In this one excerpt from a long interview, she managed to disavow Mitt Romney’s claim at the debate that he did not want to get rid of teachers.
Mrs. Romney threw teachers’ unions under the bus again, and blamed them for the failure to change in our educational system. In other words, she revealed that the Real Mitt Romney wants to do exactly what reporters overheard him say at a closed door fundraiser; starve the Department of Education in sneaky ways in order to kill teachers’ unions.
Yet, at the debate, Romney said, “The key to great schools? Great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.”
Of course, on the campaign trail he said something completely different, “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?” (Mitt Romney, 6/8/12)
When asked about green issues, Mrs. Romney talked about the lack of regulation in China, something her husband is all for (it is one of his five points on the Plan), saying that the pollution is causing people to die younger, and then says these things have to be balanced. Mitt Romney has been saying that the coal industry is being killed by Obama’s regulations. Not only are coal jobs at a 15 year high, but those regulations are meant to protect the people’s health from profit motive to ignore safety concerns. Having seen the result of no regulations in China, Ann Romney then says health and safety regulations have to be “balanced” when her husband is claiming he will deregulate the coal industry. So, balanced means no regulations, like China, where she has just laid out the dangers of no regulation.
Mrs. Romney says Mitt Romney is quick to flare with his temper and she praises him for working on this when the children were young, but then says his temper is a weakness of his. This only serves to reinforce Mitt Interruptus the public has seen at the debates, including the time he put his hand on Governor Rick Perry’s shoulder in a overtly domineering manner during a primary debate and the time he berated a reporter for asking him a question he didn’t find appropriate.
When asked about the perception that they are wealthy and therefor haven’t struggled, Mrs. Romney said, “And, for me, I’ve gone through very serious health issues. Once your health is taken away, you have nothing.” She continued, “And so I would love people to know that we do care and that we do understand what it means to struggle financially. And for Mitt, to have had success and to say, ‘I understand how jobs are created’ — I really believe that the country will be so much better off if he’s President.”
The problem with Ann using her health to suggest that she has struggled and therefor understands the financial struggles of regular Americans is that her husband is running on repealing Americans’ access to health insurance, specifically those with pre-existing conditions. In fact, MS advocates have split with Mitt Romney over his opposition to ObamaCare for precisely this reason.
Furthermore, Mitt Romney did not run Bain Capital to “create jobs”. That was never the goal of Bain. Bain exists to “harvest” companies for profit, and that is its singular purpose. Often that involved downsizing or shuttering the company after it was loaded up with debt in order to harvest profits for the Bain shareholders.
Ann Romney is no secret weapon, unless she’s a weapon against the Romney campaign. Perhaps Mitt should have listened when Ann Romney said that she didn’t want to him to run for office again, because someone is managing to destroy the Romney image from the inside and this time, it’s not Mitt Romney.
Image: Rob Howard for Good Housekeeping
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.