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Tagg Romney previews the debate in South Carolina tonight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
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HH: I’m joined now by Tagg Romney. Tagg, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

TR: Hey, thanks, great to be here with you.

HH: Are you in Columbia tonight?

TR: I am in Columbia.

HH: And what have they done in terms of the stage? Is it the same setup as at the Reagan Library ten days ago?

TR: It’s similar to that. There are ten candidates across the stage, McCain and Giuliani are on the far left, my Dad’s in the middle, sandwiched between Gilmore and Tommy Thompson.

HH: Okay, and who’s on the far right?

TR: Philosophically or on the stage?

HH: I was going to say, I bet you it’s Tom Tancredo. Now tell me, have you had sort of a walkthrough yet? Do we know how Brit’s going to conduct this thing?

TR: We did have a walkthrough, but it was just more setup, and they were able to see the lights, and then what the different signals meant, and how much time, when you see the yellow signal, it means you’ve got 20 seconds left, and those types of things. We haven’t heard much about the format of what types of questions he’s going to ask, and those types of things yet.

HH: Okay, now Tagg Romney, tonight is also the first of two days of house parties for the Romney Campaign. What’s that all about?

TR: Well, we’ve got a massive grassroots outreach effort. People are always asking us what can I do to help. So we came up with a program called Sign Up America. We’re trying to get 24,000 people to sign up in the next 24 hours to support my Dad, either through small contributions at the website, or just volunteering to help. And they can go to www.mittromney.com, or they can call 866-WIN-MITT to sign up. And so far, we’re having a great response to it.

HH: And so how many of those gatherings are going to be tonight?

TR: There are over 500 gatherings tonight, debate watching parties, taking place all across America, I think in 46 states.

HH: Tagg, do you think your Dad’s wearing a target tonight?

TR: Absolutely. You know, he did well in the first debate, and I think some of the people will probably come after him a little bit tonight, try to knock him down a peg, and the key for him is just to be himself, and not to try to stand out, because there’s ten candidates on the stage. I think it would be tough to try to stand out from ten other candidates. And I think some of the other candidates who didn’t do quite so well the first time around are probably going to do better the second time around. But I’m confident he will continue to wear well, that as people get to hear him, that his message will resonate with people.

HH: I’m talking with Tagg Romney, oldest son of Mitt Romney, and active in the campaign. What’s your title, Tagg? Do you have a title?

TR: You know, people sometimes introduce me as senior aide, but I’m just my Dad’s son. I’m just going around talking for him, and helping out where I can. So titles, I guess, don’t matter at this stage. It’s just what are you able to get done between now and then.

HH: Did he have a murder board? One of those run throughs where people throw questions at him?

TR: He did. Yesterday, he spent about six hours going through all the tough questions anyone could think of. And of course, he handled himself well. So we’re confident he’ll do well again tonight. And he thinks well on his feet, and he’s able…you wish you were able to have a little bit more time to answer the questions, because there’s some serious questions that get asked, and it’s tough to convey all of your thoughts in only a minute, and that’s really what you’re being asked to do. So you try to get as much in, in a minute, as you can.

HH: Now let’s talk a little bit about the Five Brothers Blog. Who’s idea was this?

TR: That was a brainchild of mine, unfortunately. So we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. We’ve been kicking it around for a couple of months, about launching it, and we launched it a few weeks ago, and we’ve been having a lot of fun. People have been making fun of us for it, or praising us for it, depending on which side of the aisle they sit on. But you know, it’s just a chance for us not to get too serious into the issues, but to kind of give a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be on the campaign trail, and to show what my parents are like when they’re not campaigning.

HH: It must scare the professionals to death, Tagg Romney, because that’s unfiltered, five uproarious boys who might end up throwing hammers at each other. What’s the vetting process for a post?

TR: You know, we send the posts into, we’ve got a communications person, and we send it through her, and I think she usually looks at for about ten seconds, and then they post it. But they do check to make sure that we’re not calling for the end, for anarchy, or anything crazy like that.

HH: And who does the spell check?

TR: You know, I think it’s been on us to do the spell checking, so…

HH: Oh, boy. That would be the downfall. Wait until one of you spells something wrong. That’ll live in family infamy. So tell me about the 60 Minutes process. What did you think of the final cut of the interview, and your participation in the process.

TR: You know, I thought the final cut was good. I thought he came off very well. I mean, it wasn’t everything we’d hoped for. I’d loved to have seen more of my Mom in there, but…you know, some of the issues I think would have been nice to spend some more time on, but I thought overall, it was a pretty good piece.

HH: And when you got done talking to Mike Wallace, was there any question that had surprised you?

TR: He spent a lot of time talking about our military service, and kept going back to it. But I think other than that, and of course, you know how these things work, we spent about 45 minutes to an hour talking with him, and that was the only question he shows.

HH: Oh really?

TR: Yeah. So we, the five of us were there, and we had a lot of fun going back and forth, and we thought he’d maybe show a little bit more of that, but he’s got to get a piece down to fifteen minutes, or however long they had.

HH: Well, Tagg Romney, I look forward to talking to you again soon, and good luck tonight in the debate. We’ll talk to you later.

End of interview.

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