tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 27, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
hello everyone. thanks for joining us. don lemon here. we're closely watching these stories for you right now. whipping up the eastern seaboard, hurricane sandy. it is a category 1 right now and most forecast models show it hitting the coast somewhere around the north carolina-virginia state line. emergency agencies all the way up the coast to maine bracing for high water, heavy winds and for the power to go out. live pictures right now hurricane sandy forcing the presidential candidates to rearrange their campaign travel plans. mitt romney has canceled rallies tomorrow in virginia. he'll be in ohio instead. and vice president biden was supposed to be in virginia beach today but had to call it off. president obama campaigns in florida tomorrow.
ncht ohio will be the focus over the next ten days and the latest cnn/orc poll shows why. obama is leading 50% to 46% basically unchanged since earlier this month and well within the poll's sampling error. we're going to spend a lot of time this hour hearing from the first lady, michelle obama, and mitt romney's wife, ann romney. two fascinating women and strong advocates for their successful and ambitious husbands. at the bottom of the hour we'll bring you a special of "the journey of ann romney." she tells our own gloria borger that some people have the wrong impression of her husband. >> there are a lot of charges about your husband. one of them is that he's somebody who has no core. that he's been on both sides of a lot of issues. >> and that's just to me like the most false charge there is. because i know his core. >> what is his core? >> honesty, integrity, decency,
intelligence, conviction to doing the right thing. for me i've seen that in everything he's done. and he's exhibited it in every way that he's lived his life. >> more from mrs. romney at the bottom of the hour here on cnn the in the meantime the first lady, michelle obama, spoke with our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. she says her husband, the president, is dedicated to helping all americans. >> what i can tell you about my husband is that he's been working to ensure that every american can have a real shot at the american dream. you know. that people can have a job that pays a decent wage. that people don't lose their homes because someone gets sick. you know, that you can send your kids to college maybe or maybe your kids can learn a trade and get a good job that pays benefits and that folks can retire with a little dignity and security. >> earlier this week the first lady spoke in florida preaching her husband's message in a vital
swing state. >> we believe in an america where all of us, where we understand that none of us gets where we are on our own. that we all have a community of people lifting us up. where we treat everyone, everyone with dignity and respect. from the teachers who inspire us to the janitors who keep our schools clean. and in this america that we are building together, see, when one of us stumbles -- and we all stumble, when one of us falls on hard times, we don't turn our backs and say tough luck, you're on your own. not in our america. no, instead we extend a helping hand until they get back on their feet. in our america we believe that the truth matters. so you don't take shortcuts. you don't game the system. you don't play by your own set of rules. and we also believe in keeping our priorities straight.
see cause we all know good and well that cutting sesame street is no way to balance our budget. we absolutely know better than that. we know that shortchanging our children is not how we tackle the deficit. if we want to build opportunities for all americans, then, yes, we have to cut wasteful spending. but we also have to make smart investments in our future. things like education and infrastructure for an economy built to last. that is what my husband stands for. that's the country he has been working to build for the last four years. those are his values. and let me tell you as first lady i have seen up close and personal just how critical those values are for leading this country. i have seen how the issues that come across a president's desk they are always the hard ones. the decisions that aren't just about the bottom line. but they're about laying a
foundation for the next generation. and i have seen how important it is to have a president who doesn't just tell us what we want to hear, but who tells us the truth even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. >> and coming up, the first lady tells us about meeting the president, her marriage and spending her 20th anniversary on a double date with the romneys. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ]
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nice to see you. >> so nice to see you. >> reporter: we sat down with michelle obama and her brother, craig, before that first high stakes presidential debate. as the president told the world, it fell on a big day for the first couple. >> there are a lot of points i want to make tonight, but the most important one is that 20 years ago i became the luckiest man on earth because michelle obama agreed to marry me. and so i just want to wish, sweetie, you, happy anniversary and let you know a year from now we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people. >> i wonder if in your wildest dreams you would ever imagine you would be spending your 20th wedding anniversary on a double date with the romneys. >> yeah, no, i can't say that this would have been the plan 20 years ago. and in fact, you know, i told barack, you know, attending a presidential debate on my 20th anniversary is probably the worst way for me to spend -- i
get so nervous at these debates. i'm like one of those parents watching their kid on the balance beam. you're just standing there trying not to, you know, have any expression at all. so, no, i would not have chosen this but i'm excited about it. i know he's going to do a great job. >> reporter: craig was a groomsman in the wedding. october 23rd two years ago what were you doing that day? >> that was my sister's wedding. i was having a lot of fun meeting barack's family. his extended family, for the first time. >> tell me about the groom. was he nervous? >> no. you know, i do remember that. he wasn't nervous. we were back in the back -- >> he had a bad cold. >> yeah. we were joking around because he had a cold. and i remember thinking we were teasing him about whatever you do, don't sneeze while you're
saying your vows. and i remember we had a big laugh about that. >> no sneezing though? >> but he said all the congestion -- he was really congested, when he got to the alter, it all cleared up. and for that moment that we were at the alter he said his nose was completely clear. >> my sister has that effect on people. >> were you nervous? >> no. it wasn't nervous at all. barack and i, we had dated for a couple of years. i knew him. and i trusted him. it was the most natural next step in the world. our families knew each other. i had spent christmass in hawaii meeting his family. so there wasn't, you know, it was just sort of, okay, now we're going to do this and we'll get it done. and we'll go on our honeymoon. so i was really excited about the honeymoon actually. >> let me ask you about the debate a little bit. >> uh-huh. >> i've read before a speech you tell him have fun. but a debate's little different
because it's more of a competition, more of a game of one-on-one, what's your motivational advice to him? >> he doesn't need much advice. he's been doing this for quite some time. he knows the job. he's been doing it for quite some time. he's a very good debater. >> reporter: all that was before we saw how the face-off in denver would play out. even the president has joked about his performance. >> some of you may have noticed, i had a lot more energy in our second debate. i felt really well rested after the nice long nap i had in the first debate. >> some of his aides have said one of his challenges is to keep the answers short. and i know that you have said that you critique his speeches afterwards. >> oh, no, i don't critique his speeches afterwards actually. i give him my positive reinforcement. >> only positive? >> generally, yeah. because he's a great speaker. i mean, he's good at this. >> so do you think he has any
challenges going in? >> you know, i haven't really, you know, i'd have to think about that afterwards. but going into it i think, you know, he's going to do his best. >> the president offered his perspective in an abc news interview after the first debate. >> what did mrs. obama say to you when you got home that night? >> you know what, michelle is always my best advisor, my toughest critic. she and i have been through this together. >> reporter: but the first lady didn't play critic with us. some aides say that you're the one person who can keep his ego in check. is that true? >> you know, barack doesn't have a big ego. that's the thing. you see this in how he leads the country. i mean, he is very open to other people's opinions. and he's always willing to compromise. and he is always, always listening. so that would kind of be the
last thing that i would think of when i talk about my husband is big ego, because he just doesn't have that. it's not much to check. >> and she got backup from craig, a college basketball coach. >> one of the first things i saw on the basketball court was his lack of ego. you know, the game wasn't about him. it was about the game. and it was about his teammates. and so i don't think there's an ego to put in check. >> hard to believe about a president of the united states. >> not this one. >> well, the first lady a popular stand-in for the president on the campaign trail. but what is it like for the obamas when they're not on the road? more from our exclusive interview with the first lady of the united states michelle obama. ♪
administration. and these days a regular presence on the campaign trail. target audience? women. >> you talk a lot about what your husband has done for women. at the same time, the number of women in poverty has grown during his time in office. it's now at a 17-year high. what is your message to those women? >> this election couldn't be more important for women on so many different issues. i mean, making sure women have equal pay is key to eliminating that gap in the economy. now because of health care reform, women have access to preventive care. things like breast cancer screenings and contraception. that's really critical. making sure that their kids can stay on their health care until they're 26 years old, which is a relief to many mothers out there who have kids coming out of college or entering, you know, the work force or the work world and having some kind of health care stability.
i'm thinking about malia and sasha. i'm thinking about our daughters and granddaughters. i for one am spending a lot of time out there talking to women to make sure they understand all that's on the line. >> reporter: with so much on the line, the president has taken heat for failing to spend more time building relationships with leaders in washington. in a recent interview he told me why outreach isn't his top priority. >> we make turn down the invitation to this or that or the other just because we're trying to carve out family time. and i think that's sometimes interpreted as me not wanting to, you know, be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. i think it really has more to do with just the stage we are in our lives. >> do you think there are sometimes a downside to putting family first? >> oh, absolutely not. you know, i mean, gosh, that's at the core of this country. i mean, in the end this is what we're here for. we're here to make sure that we're giving every family an
opportunity to have the kind of stability and, you know, opportunities for the future for themselves and for their kids. i think that there's no better thing to do than to model that in our own homes. i know that that's how we grew up. >> yeah. we grew up that way. and, you know, what's amazing for me is to watch when i come to the white house, it's the white house. i mean, it's the white house. but inside in the living quarters watching my sister and the president operate with their family, it is -- it's refreshing. because the only thing that's different is they're in the white house. >> it seems normal? a normal family? >> well, doesn't seem normal. >> secret service everywhere. >> well, no, it's the white house. >> because it's the white house. >> it doesn't seem normal because we're from the south side of chicago. but the behavior's all normal. everything's the same. it's just inside the white house. it's just very down to earth and very loving. >> malia is a freshman in high
school. i think driving is just around the corner. >> oh, gosh. >> have you given any thought to which one of you is getting in the car with her? >> this is like the third week of high school. you got to let me get through this first. what i will say is that barack and i, we've worked to make sure that our girls have a normal life even though they're the children of the president. so it's important for us to make sure that they have friends and sleepovers. they go to school. they do everything that kids do. so that has been our priority from day one. and we always check-in. i always check-in with craig. it's like, do the girls seem like the girls you knew before we came to the white house. >> that's exactly right. maybe i'll come out and teach them to drive. >> the president has called you the best mom in the world. and he says the girls are grounded and great. but no kid is perfect. so when the time calls for it, which one of you plays the heavy? >> you know, this is the thing i
like about barack. he's not like the happy dad, you know. he's very good at reinforcing the rules and boundaries that we set. we never get into that but dad said. we're very good at not, you know, letting the kids play off of us. and barack and i really do share the same values. it makes it easy. i think this is one of the reasons why our wedding was so much fun was because when our families got together, even though they were from all over the world, you had people from kenya and people, you know, from hawaii and people from kansas and people from, you know, it was a melting pot. what connected was is that we all shared the same values. and our families got along instantly. so when it comes to raising kids, it helps having a partner who believes in the same thing, respect, empathy, hard work, decency. we're constantly telling our kids that the most important
thing they can be is good decent people who treat other people with kindness and respect. so that's kind of the, you know, that's the overall governing principle in our household. we don't stray too far from it. and i don't have to worry about, you know, barack not being, you know, a disciplinarian or me -- we balance each other out. yeah. >> we have this reminder for you. coming up at 7:30, make sure you tune in for our special report "the journey of ann romney." but first a news update for you. states of emergency declared all along the east coast. we're looking at what could be an unprecedented storm just days from the election. or engaging. conversations help us learn and grow. at wells fargo, we believe you can never underestimate the power of a conversation. it's this exchange of ideas that helps you move ahead with confidence. so when the conversation turns to your financial goals...
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rearrange their travel plans. president obama campaigns in florida tomorrow away from the storm. and mitt romney has called off planned rallies in virginia. he'll be in ohio instead. vice president biden was supposed to be in virginia beach today, but he canceled because of the weather. and this is just in to cnn, just a few details about a car accident today involving the daughter of florida senator marco rubio. this is the senator campaigning with candidate mitt romney earlier today. we carried some of it live here on cnn. according to a statement from rubio's office, 12-year-old amanda rubio was air lifted to a miami hospital where she is in stable condition. we'll get more details when we get them. but we are wishing for the best for the rubio family. while mitt romney's quest for the white house has been well documented, ann romney's journey has been fascinating in its own right. through a compilation of interviews with cnn's gloria borger, you will get a glimpse at her role in the campaign and how it's evolved. that's the journey of ann romney. it's right after this.
ann romney is not new to politics. this is her fourth political campaign. after her husband's last try for the presidency in 2008, she vowed never again. then, she changed her mind and has gone from reluctant spouse to campaign warrior promoting and defending her husband at every turn. her story is political, but also intensely personal as we learned when we sat down with her on the campaign trail and at the romney's summer home in new hampshire. here's the journey of ann
romney. ann romney was there when her husband ended his run for the presidency in 2008 after a brutal primary fight. >> almost, but not quite. >> ann was done. when it was over you made a home video, which said -- >> i will never do this again. i just made sure it was very emphatic. it was, again, a very bruising thing. i think people forget that these are real families with people that they love that are going through these hard times. and for me i was like, that's it. okay, we did that. that's fine. never again. but it was me this time that was the most emphatic and the most determined that he should run again when it came time to think about running again. >> so why the change of heart? >> it was an endeavor that was word doing and worth pursuing. this country was worth it. i felt like the country was in trouble. i felt like the skillset that mitt has were unique to be able
to do an economic turnaround. i also saw him being selfless in his entire life as a bishop in his congregation when my kids were young, serving others all the time. and i saw that in him. i wish more people knew that about him. and what really makes him drive. inside is this drive to help others. he's mistaken by a lot of people. by, you know, why he's doing this. but for me i know why he's doing it. i know he wants to get the country right. >> so ann romney once the reluctant warrior marched right to the front lines. first, as the more conventional low profile spouse. >> i want to introduce the man who we all believe should be the next president of the united states, mitt romney. >> but soon enough ann's voice became crucial. and her crusade very personal. her job, nothing less than defining romney. >> this man will not fail. [ cheers and applause ] >> there are, as you know in
politics, there are a lot of charges about your husband. one of them is that he's somebody who has no core. that he's been on both sides of a lot of issues. >> and that's just to me like the most false charge there is. because i know his core. >> what is his core? >> honesty, integrity, decency, intelligence, conviction to doing the right thing. and so for me, i've seen that in everything he's done. and he's exhibited it in every way that he's lived his life. >> so what do you say to people who say he's a political opportunist? >> you see, that's the game of politics again. i know it's not true. but i also know that there will be attacks that will come our way continually that will be most of them false. and we're just going to have to just power through and just keep going. >> and not only is ann the mitt humanizer. >> my kids joke and say that i'm the mitt stabilizer.
>> right. >> because whenever mitt might start, you know, winding up and getting really highly energetic, they know that i have like a very calming influence on him. >> well, what do you do? >> nothing. just who i am. >> in this final stretch, ann romney's travel schedule rivals her husband's as she makes the pitch to women voters who hold the key to this election. >> we count in this country. we're standing up. and our voices need to be heard. >> it's a role she could not have expected when she met mitt romney in 1965 at a high school party. >> i did fall madly in love with him. very quickly actually. but i was very aloof, very cool. >> she was very smart. she set the hook deep. i'd call and say let's get together. she was too busy. she went on a date with someone else while i was pursuing her. made me just crazy. >> he was just so much fun. he was a lot of energy.
a lot of fun. captivating. it was just fun, fun, fun to be with him. >> romney left for his mormon mission work in france a year later leaving ann behind. they kept in touch, but it was hard to be apart. and ann remembers it to this day. >> when he left, i had a very brave face, went to the airport with his entire family. we all said good-bye. i was driven home with his family. and then i walked into my home, opened the door -- my mother was there, i fell flat on the ground just dissolved in tears. she could not console me. >> ann also has the vivid memory of a middle of the night phone call from george romney, mitt's father. mitt had been in a car crash. >> i had word that he was killed. >> killed? >> on his passport it is stamped that he is dead. we waited for hours and hours.
most of the night to get word from france that he was actually alive. and so you realize how close your brush with death was. and, again, it just of course has to have an impact on you, which it did for mitt. >> six months later romney came home. it was christmas eve 1968. >> he walked off that airplane and we only had eyes for each other. it was an amazing moment. those years dissolved and we were right back to where we were when he left. >> and he proposed. >> and on the car ride home he's like, oh, my gosh, i've waited so long for you. let's just get married now. and i'm like why not? let's do that. >> ann was 19, mitt 21. their parents wanted them to wait, so they did, one extra month. they were married in michigan and flew the next day for another ceremony at salt lake
city's mormon temple where they were sealed for eternity as the church calls it. ann herself was a recent convert to the mormon church, a process supervised by mitt's father. >> this was my own personal decision. it was my own personal conviction. it really was from within. >> later on in life ann's faith and her family would help her meet an unexpected challenge. >> i really just was having a very, very hard time and was very depressed. and had kind of given up a little bit. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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it was just before thanksgiving 1998. ann romney's comfortable life as a mother, grandmother and wife of a successful businessman was about to take an unexpected and unhappy turn. >> she began to see some numbness on her right side. it began spreading, larger and larger. she was having more difficulty getting upstairs. we went to a neurologist. we went into his office and he performed an examination. and it was very clear that she was flunking the examination. she couldn't stand on her right foot without falling over and so forth. and he stepped out. and she began to cry. and i welled up tears as well. we hugged each other.
and she said, you know, something easter bli wrong. at age 49, ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. >> you don't know how much is it going to chew me up and spit me out. where and when? how sick am i going to get? is this going to be progressive? am i going to be in a wheelchair? and it's a very, very frightening place to be. and i try to describe to people what the fatigue is like. and i just can't. so the way i try to do it now is to say there is an envelope on the table and someone has to say to me pick up that envelope and open it up and deal with what's inside of it. and it's like, you know, it might be easier for me to go to china than do that. >> and i know ann was really distraught and distressed with the diagnosis, particularly as time went on because she was really ill for quite a while. >> i really just was having a very, very hard time and was
very depressed. and had kind of given up a little bit. >> it was a tough moment for both of them. it was interesting to see the way he treated her as they went through that very caring, very loving, very frustrating for him not to be able to step in and fix it. but it was -- they drew even closer. >> even when i was as sick as that, he would curl up in the bed with me. >> take a minute. >> so you just knew that that's where he was. it was like he was going to do anything he could to just say i'm here, you're okay. just stay right there and we'll be okay. >> but it isn't always okay. even more than a decade later. it's a disease that demands con assistant attention and rest or risk paying the price. >> now, i know that after super
tuesday, for example, you kind of -- >> yeah. >> had a bit of a relapse. >> i did. >> you were running around. >> i overdid. and i knew i was overdoing. everyone else has a reserve tank. with m.s., you go to empty and you go to empty and that's it. it's like you can't take another step. you will fall over. and that's kind of what happened to me around the super tuesday time. and i knew i was pushing my limit. but i also didn't say anything to anyone. >> did he notice? >> no one noticed. everyone was so busy. and i don't think i was even in the same states. i think, you know, for me i knew i just had to get past that mile mark and i'd be okay and i could rest. but i didn't quite make it to the mile mark. i kind of collapsed before it. >> i mean literally collapsed. >> uh-huh. >> so i know the m.s. can be triggered by stress. >> right. >> it's not like you don't have any of that in your life right
now. but you deal with it. >> i deal with it. >> that happened last march with a long grueling campaign season left to fight. but oddly enough ann's constant battle with the disease helped her cope with the stress of the campaign. >> i mean, i'm telling you it is a great teacher. it really is. because you can't absorb all this that's going on around me. there's a lot of noise and a lot of really negative noise going on around me and around my husband during this campaign. and so i have to just learn how to not let that just get into my psyche. >> how do you do that? >> well, number one, i know the attacks are not accurate. and they're not true. and so, you know, you just know and have to understand it's part of politics. but really how to have something -- it's not an easy thing to learn how to do because i practice it a lot and it doesn't always work. and sometimes things start to sink in. but you have to really have such peace and serenity in your
heart. and almost have a teflon barrier around yourself. >> it wouldn't be easy because politics is combat. and ann would soon enlist. >> there's always days when you just go everyone's a critic. and you just go if you really understood what you're up against when you do run for president, it's a very difficult thing. [ man ] hello!!!! hello!!!! [ all ] ohh! that is crazy! are you kidding me? let me see! oh! what! that's insane! noooo! mr. woodson? oh hello! hello! [ whistles ] hello! [ all ] hello! [ coach ] caleb, i've got someone i want you to meet. hello. [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. covering 3,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. rethink possible. to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs
. ♪ ann and mitt romney's summer home sits on lake winnipesaukee in new hampshire, an oasis for the whole family. >> a lot of them just left. i ran through 12 loads this morning. a lot of towels, a lot of sheets. but it's a joyous thing to have them all here. >> tell me a little bit about the mitt romney that's here at the lake. >> fun loving, warm, spontaneous. get him out of the public eye, put him in here, he is as loose and funny and span tains as you'd ever want to see and just so much fun to be with. >> so what happens when you get in the public eye? >> you know, you just have to be
more circumspect, more careful with your words. you just have to be more careful. it's unfortunate that even i think people probably only think of mitt maybe through his business lens. for me, that is just 1% of who he is. >> but just how to reveal the rest of romney has been a struggle. after a brutal assault by democrats painting romney as an outof touch millionaire. ♪ for spacious skies for amber waves of grain ♪ >> his wife, who has also been criticized as elite, became his chief defender. >> i saw him se at the olympics, turning them around. >> a woman who appeals to women. >> what i hear from women is help, please help. >> a wife who demystifies her husband. >> i have a guy standing next to me that has done amazing things
in his life. >> and someone who can carry a dagger wrapped in velvet. >> and let's be honest. if the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on mitt romney's success? of course not. >> ann was a hit at the republican convention, but her personal testimony wasn't enough to move the needle. especially after this secret tape recording of romney at a private fund-raiser became public. >> there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government. so my job is not to worry about those people. >> that tape only played to the stereotype. >> a sigma jort of people do not believe he understands their problems. and when he talked about the 47%, that only seemed to compound that problem. >> that's not an accurate perception that he's obviously running for 100% of the american people, that there are many
people need mitt's help right now and that i think for folks to understand this is a guy who does care, who does understand. that's why we're running. he's not a person that talks. he's a person that goes and does. >> the tape set off alarm bells for a candidate already in trouble, anxious republicans started second-ge guessing the campaign. so ann went off script. you said, stop it. this is hard. you want the to try it? get in the ring. you seemed really upset about that. >> well, there's always days when you just go, you know, everyone is a critic and you go, if you really understood what you're up against when you do run for president, it's a very difficult thing. >> especially when the candidate has trouble connecting with voters. romney needed a game-change he and the first debate was his chance. ann romney sat down with us just days before the big event. is there one thing he needs to do to break through? >> you know, i would love it,
personally, just for people to tune in and just watch. because, you know, there's been so many other opinions and commentary and everything else, let's just see him, let's just see who he is, let's just see what he thinks and what he feels. for me, that's the important thing that must come through. >> it's not eeszy for romney to do that so he follows a few debate routines. >> as soon as he gets on stage, the first thing he does is he takes off his watch and puts it on the podium. but then he writes "dad" on a piece of paper. and that's amazing because he loves his dad, respects his dad, doesn't want to do anything that would not make his father proud. then he looks in the audience, and he finds me. he has to find where i am. he needs just that connection. and almost after every answer that he gives, he'll find me in the audience to see, was that?
was that okay? >> what do you do? >> good. good. >> what if you don't like what he did? >> i don't do any of that. >> so even on stage, you're -- >> on stage there it is an emotional connection happening between the two of us during the debate itself. >> romney pulled off an impressive performance, breathing new life into the campaign. >> you've been president for four years. you said you'd cut the deficit in half. it's four years later, we still have trillion-dollar deficits. >> i was so thrilled at the debate, for people to see my husband unfiltered through -- without any negative ads. >> throughout the debates, romney the pragmatist was on stage, not romney the conservative of the republican primaries, confusing to some but not to ann, who finally saw the side of romney she had been pushing to reveal all along. >> as you know, gloria, i said
last time i would never do this again. i mean, it's really hard for a family member, a person that loves this person that you see going through these difficulties and just know how tough it is on that person that you love, and so for me it comes out of a compassion for mitt and a compassion and passion for how important this election is. i want people to think, if they vote for mitt, they're going to get this country moving again. ♪
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