(PENSACOLA, Fla.) — Ann Romney hit the campaign trail in Florida this week — solo — and, in answers to questions at a breast cancer treatment center in Pensacola, revealed how she advises her husband: It’s largely a family affair.
Mitt Romney does not come to his wife for policy advice, she said. The experts are for that. But over 43 years of marriage “anytime it’s anything to do with family or those things that are really personal to us,” he turns to her.
And her “role” in the campaign is giving “comfort.”
“And knowing that I’m standing by his side, that I trust him, that I am rooting for him, that I am with him,” Romney said, “that it’s an experience that we’re going through together, that just being with each other makes it easier, and being able to talk each other.”
Romney was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2009, a year after her husband’s last presidential campaign.
In an interview last month she said it was “ductal carcinoma” and she caught it through a mammogram at “stage zero.”
Touring the breast cancer facility at the Woodlands Center for Specialized Medicine, Romney met with doctors and patients. She said her radiation was “quite debilitating” and gave her fatigue, which “lasted for months.”
She called the Woodlands Center “impressive” and a “comforting place” but added the tour was “emotional” and “brought back a lot of memories for me as well.”
In her May interview she revealed she was not the only woman in her family to suffer from the disease.
“I lost my mother from ovarian cancer, I lost my grandmother from ovarian cancer, I lost my great-grandmother from breast cancer, so for me, you know, it’s been a long line of cancer,” Romney said. “Women that have dealt with cancer in their lives, and I unfortunately saw my grandmother die from ovarian and I took care [of] and loved my mother in her death, with her battle with ovarian cancer. So cancer is a serious business.”
Romney said the patients she met with were “all hopeful and they’re all cheerful, and they’re all in good hands.”
In a lighter moment, Romney was asked yet again to reveal “one thing” about her husband that has not been told before. She again answered that her husband, the presumptive GOP nominee, is “very funny.”
“Maybe I’ll get the message through finally,” Romney said. “It’s so interesting to me that he’s misperceived mostly by the media, and that he actually is very funny, and he keeps everything lively. He’s always entertaining, he’s always fun to be with, so I think if people know that about him, they’ll be better informed.”
In an interview with CBS News last month, Ann Romney said “there’s a wild and crazy man in there,” referring to her husband.
Mrs. Romney also suffers from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998. Wednesday, she visited a therapeutic horse riding center in Ocala while on a three-day campaign swing in Florida. Romney credits horseback riding with helping her MS symptoms and now considers the disease to be in remission, although she still gets fatigued and needs to watch how rigorous her campaign schedule is. At the Woodlands on Thursday she called the two diagnoses a “double whammy.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal