Romney's Ambition and Motivation

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    Scott Romney   Mitt Romney's older brother

    (Text only) Six years older than Mitt Romney, Scott Romney is a fundraiser for his younger brother. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted on August 9, 2012.

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    ... How would you describe what's really at his core and what his values are?

    I think he has a religious conviction that's at his core. I think he has a love for his family that is dramatic and strong at his core. And I think he has a motivation to do good that's at his core. At his core, he wants to make things better. Every place I've seen, that's his major core.

    And then at his core is a determination and a willpower that is enormously powerful and a motivating factor for him. ... And he believes at his core that he has talents and abilities that are unique and can make a change in whatever activity he's involved in, because he's seen himself do it so many times. It's unusual to have that kind of confidence in yourself. He has that kind of confidence. ...

    Mitt has confidence that he has the ability to change people's lives, that he can make things better. At his core he wants to do good, and he's got confidence that he can make things better. ...

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    Scott Romney   Mitt Romney's older brother

    (Text only) Six years older than Mitt Romney, Scott Romney is a fundraiser for his younger brother. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted on August 9, 2012.

    Read the full interview »

    ... Why does he want to be president?

    I think he believes he's the only person in this position that can straighten out this country. He believes he can bring a team together to help straighten out the deficit issues, to move us on a track where we solve our deficit, where he believes that we can get to employment and help people with employment, that we can deploy our energy in a way that can dramatically grow our country. ...

    And he believes that he's the one that knows how to exploit those things. He believes that we can lift more people out of poverty, that more people can do better in the middle class. We've had a tremendous increase in poverty in the last four years, dramatic, and the middle class has suffered. And he believes that he can provide opportunity for people.

    And he believes that this country is the only hope for freedom in this world.

    ... What does that mean?

    Because there are other countries that have freedom, but without the strongest country in the world supporting freedom, other philosophies could take over. The philosophy of Russia trying to use its natural resources to become a superpower again, they don't have freedom. China trying to use some of our free-enterprise system, but they don't have freedom. You don't have freedom of education, freedom of where you're going to live, what job you're going to have, or let alone religion.

    And then you have the radical Islamists that want to destroy everything in the West at every opportunity in democracy, at any event. And Western Europe and other places that have some freedom, they don't have the ability to sustain it on their own anymore. They could be subsumed by the other philosophies in this world.

    The United States is the place that has the opportunity to defend freedom around the world and to give people great opportunity. This country has lifted more people out of poverty than any country in the history of mankind, and Mitt believes we can do a better job at it. ...

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    Romney's Core Nature

    Ann Romney   Mitt Romney's wife.

    Born Ann Davies, she met Mitt Romney in high school and the couple married in 1969, three months after Mitt returned from being a missionary in France. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum on Sept. 11, 2012.

    In his core, in his heart, you know, why does he want this so badly? And what is the thing that's motivating him most? And is there, you know -- you talked about his father.

    Yeah, there's that service gene. There's that caring gene that I think if people were to know anything about Mitt, is that he cares. I think beyond anything else is that you look at how the powerful example George Romney was in his life. And what was George Romney? Mitt saw him as a servant, always. And I think that's how Mitt is, too. He's always been there. Gratefully, he's always showed my children, too. He's been a huge example in my children's life of how you serve others.

    And Mitt cares. He cares about so many people that are hurting right now in this economy. And I think if you know that about Mitt, if you know one thing about Mitt, he's a guy that cares.

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    Romney '08

    Tagg Romney   Eldest son

    Tagg Romney is the oldest of Mitt Romney's five children. Here he discusses what Mitt and Ann are like as parents, as well as lessons his father learned running the Olympics, serving as a governor, and losing his bid for the White House in 2008.This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum on Aug. 7, 2012.

    I want to jump to 2008. Tell me the family conversation that you had when your father broached the subject with you that he was considering a run for president, and what the reaction was of the sons.

    You never think your dad's going to run for president. So it was a little bit of -- we were shocked that it was a consideration.

    He took us, I remember -- as he had been contemplating for a little bit, we all gathered for Christmas, during Christmastime a year and a half or so before the election. And we went around the room. There were five sons. We all had our five wives there, and my mom and dad, so the 12 of us. And we talked about whether or not he should run and what the pros and cons would be.

    And all 12 of us said: "This is something you should do. We understand it's going to be hard for the family, and we're going to see less of Grandma and Grandpa than we'd like to over the next year and a half, but this is something we think, given your talents and capabilities, the country would be a much better place if you were able to win." So we all were very supportive of him jumping in the race.

    Help me with that a little bit more, because he's your father, but help me sort of, why -- I mean, to be the president of the United States, what was it in him to take on that role, for all of you to raise your hand and say yes?

    Having watched him through my whole life, I've never known anyone as competent as he is. He knows how to get things done. And whether it was at Bain & Company, Bain Capital, the Olympics, as governor of Massachusetts, the guy just knows how to make things happen and fix things. He's amazing at fixing things.

    Especially in a crisis, he's able to keep very level-headed, assess the situation, bring really capable people in to help him get all the data that he can, and then make decisions, stick to them, and then lead people so that they have confidence that he's doing the right thing, and then fix things. Time and time again I've seen him fix things that I thought were not fixable.

    So you look at him and you said, you know what? He would be an amazing president. And you look at the problems that our country's facing, and you think he's not going to be able to fix all of them, and it's not going to happen overnight, but he will bring this country together and lead us to a place where I think we'll have the common will to say, OK, we need to fix these problems, and he's putting forward a solution to help us do that, and we're going to get there as a country. And so that's what all of us saw and said, "This is what the country needs."

    So if you fast-forward four years later, having been through that process, we still had the same confidence in my dad. We were not so sure about the political process and the vagaries of how the process worked and the difficulties in getting through. So not all of us were as gung-ho about him running a second time.

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    Eric Fehrnstrom   Romney political adviser

    Eric Fehrnstrom has worked for Romney for a decade, first as his press secretary in Romney’s 2002 run for governor of Massachusetts. Prior to his work in politics, Fehrnstrom worked in public relations and as a reporter for the Boston Herald. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum on Aug. 21, 2012.

    2008 was a tough campaign and a tough loss, as we understand it. So tell me about his decision then to come back around in 2012. How difficult a decision was that? And again, if you could help bring me into your conversations with him.

    Sure. Well, I remember the day he withdrew from the race in 2008. He did it at the Conservative Political Action Conference down in Washington, D.C. And on the plane back to Boston following his announcement, he turned to me and he said: "Eric, what are you going to do? We've got to figure out what our people are going to do. They're going to be moving on into other jobs."

    This was not a person who was thinking of running again for president. I think he felt he had his opportunity, and the door had closed to him.

    But then, over a period of time, he began to get more involved in politics again. He restarted his political action committee, renamed it, and went to work to help Republican candidates and conservative causes around the country. He spent a good deal of time thinking about his vision for the future. He organized his thoughts around the publication and the writing of a book called No Apology, which is really a Romney manifesto for America's place in the world and how we can become stronger on a number of different fronts, including foreign policy and in the area of the economy.

    And I think this four-year period, this interregnum between two campaigns really helped to sharpen the governor's thinking about what he felt he could accomplish for the nation. And then, of course, with the economic collapse and the very weak recovery, the governor felt that he had a unique set of skills that could help turn around this bad situation that we're in.

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    Philip Barlow   Mormon historian

    (Text only) A professor Mormon History & Culture at Utah State University, Barlow worked with Mitt Romney in the leadership of their Massachusetts Mormon ward. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted on July 19, 2012.

    Read the full interview »

    Why do you think Mitt Romney wants to be president?

    I reckon no person who runs for the presidency is lacking for a certain measure of confidence and ambition. So again, I'm not inside his head to psychoanalyze that, but I'm sure there's personal dimensions. But there's such a thing as healthy ambition to serve and to make a difference in the world.

    The man I worked with was ambitious to get things done – not in front of television cameras and media reporters, but to get things done for their own sake, to make people's lives better. He's a busy man, but he's going to go drive a group of Venezuelans or Laotians from this spot to this spot so they can get to their youth event -- that's going to happen not so that I, Mitt Romney, can feel famous and people will think I'm a good guy. It's just happening without anybody knowing it, except for incidentally, because it's a good thing to get done.

    So he's operating to serve, to make human life better, as a Mormon bishop, in all sorts of personally generous ways, generous acts, that I've seen him do. And whatever private, even selfish, ambitions a person might have for running for the presidency that I can't speak to, I think there's a good measure of, how could, like taking over the Olympics there, might be political ambitions attached to that, but I'd also like to save the state of Utah's good name and I'd also like to make a good Olympics for the United States hosting these events. I think he wants to do good in the world, and you do more good in the world with a judicious use of power. ...

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