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Ann Romney, Janna Ryan Campaign In Tampa


Ann Romney and Janna Ryan campaigned in Tampa yesterday. The wives of the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates made a pitch to women voters, and Mrs. Romney reached out to Latinos. NPR's Ted Robbins reports.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Mitt Romney introduced his wife, Ann, at the Women for Romney victory breakfast in Tampa on video, from the road.

MITT ROMNEY: By the time I get to town, the delegates may have decided to nominate Ann instead. And wouldn't that be interesting? And do you think that if Ann were the nominee, the press would write stories about how my job is to humanize Ann? I don't think so.

ROBBINS: Ann Romney was joined by her five daughters-in-law and about a dozen of her grandchildren. As she has a number of times, Mrs. Romney recalled how tough it was for her to raise five boys.


ANN ROMNEY: Total chaos, and yet I knew and I prayed at night that somewhere, some mother was raising a daughter that would be a good wife to my unruly sons. And my prayers were answered.

ROBBINS: The Romneys will need help getting their prayers answered with Latinos, a strong majority of whom vote Democratic. She made her case to the Latino Coalition, a group of business owners. Among the guests, the Republican governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuno. The Romneys campaigned in Puerto Rico last March.


ROMNEY: I had the most rocking time in Puerto Rico at a political rally than I've ever had in my entire life. You people know how to party.

ROBBINS: Ann Romney argues that Latinos should vote for her husband because he shares the Latino community's strong work ethic and family values.


ROMNEY: My importance in speaking out is making sure that those coalitions that would naturally be voting for another party wake up and say: You'd better really look at the issues this time.

ROBBINS: Also making an appearance Wednesday, Janna Ryan, the wife of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, one of the first times she's spoken in public since being thrust into the campaign.


JANNA RYAN: It is a tremendous honor to be on America's comeback team with you all. I look forward to meeting so many of you in the weeks ahead, and thank you again. Enjoy your breakfast.

ROBBINS: Janna Ryan's remarks lasted just over one minute. She was a lawyer and a Washington lobbyist, but she is clearly not used to this level of attention. Ann Romney remarked on it.


ROMNEY: I feel a little sorry for her. I feel a little, like, responsible for her, because it's like she's just been thrown into this firestorm.

ROBBINS: Ann Romney said it took her several years to learn to deal with the attention that comes with being a national candidate's wife. Janna Ryan has a little more than two months until Election Day. Ted Robbins, NPR News, Tampa. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR based at NPR West in Culver City, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online, focusing on TV at a time when there's never been so much content. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity — from traditional museum offerings to popular culture, and out-of-the-way people and events.