Ann Romney’s Convention Speech Omitted the Fact That She and Mitt Lived on Proceeds from Stocks During Their Hard Times in College

Ann Romney reads her speech about hard times she and Mitt faced during  their college years from teleprompter at the 2012 Republican National Convention
Ann Romney reads her speech about hard times she and Mitt faced during their college years from teleprompter at the 2012 Republican National Convention

Ann Romney’s speech to the Republican National Convention last night included an anecdote about the hard times she and Mitt faced when they were young — a story intended to assure middle class voters that, despite the fact that the Romneys are multimillionaires, they’re really just regular folks like you and me:

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in a way of our future. I was Episcopalian, he was a Mormon. We were very young, both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage. And you know what, we just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on saw horses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. But those were the best days.

Got that? They left the Cadillacs at home and walked to class. They shared housekeeping duties — can’t you just picture young Mitt swishing the toilet? And they ate tuna fish off of an ironing board. Imagine.

But how did the struggling young couple make ends meet? Did Mitt take a job in the school cafeteria? Did Ann work part time as a teacher’s aide?

Nah. He sold some of his Rambler stock, or at least that’s what Ann said they did, in an interview in 1994 during Mitt’s failed run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy:

“The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

“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. Mitt saw that the Boston market was behind Chicago, LA and New York. We stayed there seven years and sold it for $90,000, so we not only stayed for free, we made money. As I said, Mitt’s very bright.

“Right after Mitt graduated in 1975, we had our third boy and it was about the time Mitt’s first paycheck came along. So, we were married a long time before we had any income, about five years as struggling students. Mitt had offers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, but we loved Boston. One thing led to another, and he went from Boston Consulting Group to Bain & Co., where he became an extraordinarily young partner.

As Trish noted last night, Ann’s failure to fully disclose how their struggles were cushioned by their wealth was even brought up on Fox News last night, briefly, by Juan Williams — whose corpse is probably floating in Tampa Bay right now.


  • Paul
    August 29, 2012 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t really sound like alot of “wealth” to me.

  • K Milton
    August 29, 2012 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Maybe Robert Gibbs was talking about your article, Angry, Strange and leaving me flabbergasted!

  • Steve
    August 29, 2012 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

    He sold “some” of his stock his father had bought him. “A few thousand dollars” so at least 3000 dollars at $6 a share that eventually became $96 when he sold it.

    Thats at least 48K in 1968. Adjust for Inflation and in today’s money that is at least $319,800.

    His dad paid his house note. They lived without jobs for 5 years and had an income of $64,000. That is 4x as much as a worker at federal minimum(16,240, if you worked 40 hrs a week, year round) would make in a year.

  • August 29, 2012 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Paul, it’s a considerable amount of wealth for someone in college. Adjusted for inflation, that $42,000 loan from daddy would be about $220,000 today. That’s a decent sum of money for a starter home. Mitt and Ann, even in their most challenging financial times, were better off than most Americans.

  • Eric
    August 29, 2012 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I feel terrible for Juan Williams. To constantly be the one voice of reason on a panel of ignoramuses must be frustrating.

  • dparks
    August 29, 2012 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    GASP!! so the Romney’s had money! BFD! it didn’t seem to be a problem for the Kennedy’s, Henry Reid, Pelosi, Steve Jobs, Gates, Oprah, Spielberg, Clooney, or any other whinyassed Lib..

    And now we’re all supposed to care about how Romney spends his money, but not care about how Obama has spent ours?.. riiiiiiight..

  • Matt
    August 29, 2012 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    re paul

    Not a lot of wealth? Let’s kick the numbers:

    A “few thousand” from Mitt’s dad put into AMC at $6/share, sold for $96 per. $2k-8k becomes 32k-128k. More than enough to support two co-habitating people for a few years in the late 60’s, early 70’s; she even said rent was $4800 per year.

    If you don’t consider that kind of money in the hands of an unemployed student in their early 20’s to be “wealth,” you are insane.

  • Smitty_PA
    August 29, 2012 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    dparks, the Kennedy’s et al didn’t try to sell the American public the BS notion that they had struggled either.

  • bf
    August 29, 2012 - 5:14 pm | Permalink


    It’s not about having money. It’s about claiming that they struggled. Even if they think that they legitimately struggled, they are severely disconnected with the modern lower/middle class, which is a huge problem when 99% of the population of the country is in the lower/middle class.

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  • Robin_PA
    August 30, 2012 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    I went to college and did work study for my spending money. My parents, paid for my dorm room except for one summer when I went in with 3 other guys to rent a house for the summer as I worked on campus for the summer. I am proud of what my parents did and am quite aware that they did something very nice for me. I had friends who had rich uncles and didn’t have to worry about money or their parents were rich. Others were in the same situation as me. Some had cars and sports cars. I didn’t. My father was enlisted in the Air Force and worked in Civil Service jobs as a WGS federal worker after retiring from the Air Force, my mother worked as a cleaning lady at a Howard Johnson and also worked as a seamtress at a sewing factory before almost all of them closed down. She didn’t start working until I was about 12. My parents sacrificed for me and my brother and sister. Did I have money, nothing at all close to what Mitt and Ann had. When I went to graduate school I had a teaching assistanceship and made less than minimum wage. I believe I had just under $6,000 per year. That was difficult but could be done. This was in the 1980’s during the Reagan presidency.

    So 15 years prior, $42,000 to live on was a fair amount of money. Since I lived on less 15 years later and that was actually difficult. That’s over $10,000/year spread over 4 years. I am not complaining, but I also do not feel that I had a hard life. Many others had a harder life than me, and Mitt and Ann had a much easier life just please, don’t tell me how hard they had it.

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  • mk
    September 2, 2012 - 7:00 am | Permalink

    That isn’t Mitt Romney in the above picture. His face is a completely different shape than whomever that is. Mitt has a sauare jaw, while the person in the picture has a triangular chin. It’s very peculiar. Also strange is the fact that so many publicity shots of Romney are obviously photoshpped and posted around the web. The pictures are coming from Romney’s camp, so it can’t be blamed on anyone but his own people. Nor can it be said that the photos are changed for cosmetic reasons because his features are being altered, not just brushed. Something isn’t right with that guy.

  • September 2, 2012 - 7:41 am | Permalink

    mk, he does look different now but I think it’s the hair. It was falling over his forehead then and it’s combed back now. But one thing’s for sure: Ann is not a natural blonde.

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  • Michael
    October 7, 2012 - 2:02 am | Permalink

    So. He says he gave away his inheritance to “charity”. That charity being a building named after his FATHER at a MORMON university! He just happened to forget mention of the AMC stocks. Right! I put myself through college with a $600 year federal grant, $300 year county grant, and a full time job as a hospital orderly. NO help from family whatsoever. Drove a $500 Toyota. Ran my own household as well.

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