Mitt Shows His Softer Side
Romney has been hailed by his friends and associates as a warm and generous family man but those reports seem a far cry from the awkward campaigner and cut-throat capitalist who has been running for president since 2007.
A recent dump of confidential Bain documents hasn't helped his image, either. The records revealed Romney used exotic financial instruments like equity swaps, foreign investments and shell corporations to keep his effective tax rate near 13 percent for the past ten years, according to Gawker.
The GOP candidate's platform has comprised mainly of rhetoric on economic and budgetary matters. But with ten weeks until the election, the Romney campaign has made gestures to portray Romney as more human than human-calculator. Last Sunday, his campaign invited reporters to watch him attend LDS church services with his wife, Ann.
This Sunday, the Romney family made buttermilk pancakes for Chris Wallace during an interview in their home kitchen on Fox News Sunday. A handful of the Romney grandchildren sat inside the kitchen island Romney had built especially for them.
The Romneys, or "Papa and Mamie," as their grandchildren refer to them, also opened up about their personal life. Ann credited her husband with doing the family grocery shopping when she was too ill, even though he was busy planning the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Former employees have come forward with stories of Romney's generosity, like how he lent a large sum of money to help an employee and his family avoid eviction from their house. While governor, he and his sons helped move a colleague's furniture into her new home, even though it had to be lifted over a second-floor balcony, the Los Angeles Times reported.
If his charity seems like a departure from his policies, there is an ideological explanation for that. Advisor Kevin Madden explained Romney has a limited view of what government can do to help people, like provide infrastructure and opportunity.
But Romney prioritizes "putting our faith in individuals and free markets and free enterprise" rather than "government being the only engine," Madden said.
The Romney's cited their history of tithing and donating to their church as one of the reasons they have been reluctant to release their tax returns. They said they wanted those donations to remain private because they are a part of their personal religious practice, the couple told Parade.
"I love tithing," Ann Romney said. "When Mitt and I give that check, I actually cry."
"So do I," Mitt quipped. "But for a different reason."
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