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Tagg Romney on the debate performance of his father, Mitt Romney

Friday, May 4, 2007
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HH: Joined now by Tagg Romney, Governor Romney’s oldest son. Tagg, good to see you again.

TR: It’s good to be here. Thank you.

HH: You’ve got to be happy.

TR: Very happy. I thought he knocked it out of the park, he was clearly a fantastic candidate tonight, and showed why he’d make the best president.

HH: You’ve sat through debates before. He’s been in a lot of debates. Anything different about his performance tonight? Or is this what you’d see and what you’d get throughout this campaign, and against a Democrat?

TR: What you see is what you get. My Dad is articulate, he knows how to communicate his vision, he’s very relaxed in front of the camera, he’s a fantastic communicator. I think clearly, anyone who watched the debate tonight would say boy, isn’t Mitt Romney, wouldn’t Mitt Romney make a fantastic president. That’s the same feeling people get when they meet him one on one. It’s the same feeling they get when they meet him in large groups. What you see is what you get.

HH: You know, I kept looking at each of these candidates, thinking Hillary Clinton will be across from one of them in nine months. Does it make a difference when a woman is opposite your Dad in a debate? I know he has debated a woman before when running for governor.

TR: I don’t think it matters what gender or what race, or what religion a particular candidate is. The important thing is how well do you communicate your vision, how well, or do you connect with the American people. You’re right. In 2002, he ran against a woman for governor. He did very, very well in those debates, clearly won those, just like I think he clearly won tonight.

HH: Now you have been in Iowa a lot, and of course, the early states matter, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. What’s the feeling about him in Iowa, and what do you think those Iowans took away from a debate that wasn’t about ethanol tonight?

TR: You know, the Iowans are tuning into the race, I love the great service the people in Iowa do to their country. They tune in, they pay attention. As a result of that, my Dad’s doing very, very well in the polls in Iowa, and among the people that he’s meeting. Those who meet my Dad, talk to him, hear him speak, overwhelmingly break his way. They think he’s a fantastic leader. We’re doing very, very well in Iowa. I think we’re planning on doing well there in August at the straw poll, and again in the caucuses in either December or January, whenever they take place.

HH: You saw the Novak column today, which I just thought was out of left field and bizarre, and then were was a Mormon question tonight. I guess we’re going to get one in every debate. It’s been asked and answered like a thousand times, but it’s just…

TR: The press can’t help themselves, Hugh. It’s the mainstream media. They can’t help themselves. We’re not getting those questions out in the field. People overwhelmingly don’t care what Church you go to on Sunday, as long as you’re a person of faith, and as long as you share their values. Hard work, honesty, integrity, love of God, love of country, love of family. My Dad shares those values, the American people recognize those values, they think he’s the embodiment of a lot of the things that they care deeply about. They don’t care what Church he goes to on Sunday. He’s proud of his faith, he’s proud of his beliefs, but you know, at the end of the day, he’s not going to push those beliefs, and people shouldn’t care.

HH: Tagg Romney, I know you’re wanted down on the spin floor, so thanks for stopping by. I look forward to catching up with you as the campaign goes on. Congratulations to your Dad, as a good night for him, I’m sure, thought by all around.

TR: Hugh, great to be here. Thank you.

HH: Good to see you, Tagg.

End of interview.

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