Matt Romney speaks about his father at RNC
Matt Romney, son of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaks Wednesday at the Embassy Suites Tampa, in Tampa, Fla. Justin Wan/The State News
Tampa, Fla. — Although Republican presidential nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could soon become President Romney, Matt Romney always will call him by a different name: Dad.
Matt Romney, a 41-year-old California resident, was one of several speakers to address Michigan delegates and Mitt Romney supporters at the delegation hotel in downtown Tampa, Fla., during the RNC on Wednesday.
Following a speech by his mother, Ann Romney, speech in the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena Tuesday night, Matt Romney was among numerous speakers delivering personal testimonies and insight into Mitt Romney’s character and family life, which could be in response to the stream of negative attack ads launched by the Obama campaign the last few months.
During his speech, Matt Romney said he didn’t want to review his father’s economic policies, but instead share with the audience personal memories to illustrate who his father is behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t rolling.
“My dad is someone who likes to fix things,” Matt Romney said.
“Even at home, he loves to fix things.”
Matt Romney recalled an instance during his wife’s first pregnancy when his father chastised him for simply sitting by his wife’s bed reading a book during her labor.
Sensing the need to help his daughter-in-law, Mitt Romney jumped into action and, in less than an hour, built a TV stand, carried a TV to her room, hooked up cable and sent someone to run errands for her.
“I was ashamed as a young husband,” Matt Romney said with a smile.
“But it was also a great example to me.”
Matt Romney stressed his father is a man of action, also recalling the time his father saved him from drowning in a surf boarding accident when he was 16 years old.
“He jumped down a ledge and literally pulled me out by my (surfboard) leash and saved my life,” Matt Romney said.
“People were wondering what to do. He wasn’t wondering — he acted.”
Other speakers among the lineup at the breakfast were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who stressed Michigan’s need for a new senator to turn the mitten from blue to red, as well as U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., described his experience leaving the Detroit Metro Airport, reading newspapers depicting a successful economic turnaround in Michigan.
After years of regarding the mitten as the state bearing a tremendously negative economic environment, Cantor said he was pleased to hear about thousands of new jobs recently created in Michigan.
“What could be more fitting than a turnaround story in Michigan … given our next president of the U.S. having grown up in Michigan?” Cantor said, as the audience erupted in chants of “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt.”