On Friday, Fox & Friends asked Ann Romney if it was difficult for the couple to turn down a $30 million job offer after Mitt lost the 2008 presidential nomination. Ann, who has been trying to help her husband connect with middle class voters, replied that such job opportunities are commonplace for the former governor and CEO:
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): The report is after Mitt Romney lost to John McCain for the nomination, he got an offer from a fund, $30 million a year, go back into the financial world, have all types of success. How hard was the decision not to do that?
ROMNEY: Well, we’re used to kind of passing offers up like that. For us, our life is not about making money. We’ve been very blessed financially. Our life is now about giving back. I always trust that Mitt can always make another dollar. Poor guy, he took no pay when he did the Olympics for three years and no pay when he was governor for four years.
Though she’s acknowledged they have been “blessed financially,” Romney has been working hard this week to prove the couple’s empathy with middle class families. In her convention speech, Romney included herself among the nation’s struggling moms, declaring “We don’t want easy,” but lamented “that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay.” In both her convention speech and on Fox and Friends Friday morning, she emphasized the couple’s poorer days in college, when they lived in a basement and “ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish.”
But the Romneys have had trouble selling this story to the public, often making casual remarks that bely their lack of common ground with middle class voters. In past interviews, Ann has explained they got through these hard student days by selling off a little of Mitt’s stock, a birthday president from his father, former Governor George Romney, after he took over American Motors.
Here are a few other ways Ann has addressed the couple’s wealth:
- “I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing.” [Fox News, 3/5/12]
- “Remember, we’d been paying $62 a month rent, but here, rents were $ 400, and for a dump. This is when we took the now-famous loan that Mitt talks about from his father and bought a $42,000 home in Belmont, and you know? The mortgage payment was less than rent.” [Boston Globe, 10/20/94]
- “I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.” [Prescott Bush Awards Dinner, 4/24/12]
- “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life.” [ABC News, 7/19/12]