The Loss to Kennedy

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    Mitt and Ann

    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.

    So let's jump to politics for a minute. We've heard that you've been sort of pivotal in giving your husband that little extra push. So let's start with 1994. Tell me about the conversation about whether or not to run against Sen. [Ted] Kennedy, and why you encouraged him to take that leap.

    I think it was sort of a unanimous decision at that point, is that, you know, Mitt's father was involved in politics. And Mitt was frustrated with some of the positions that Sen. Kennedy had taken. I finally said, "Why don't you just run?" I don't think it was something that we talked about much or even thought about seriously.

    And we certainly, you know, living in Massachusetts, it wasn't like, you know, we've got this plan for our life. It wasn't that at all, because we knew what an uphill battle it would be. And it was just a matter of just saying, "Step forward, and just go forward and do." We certainly knew how long the odds were of defeating a Kennedy in Massachusetts. And we weren't surprised when we didn't win that race.

    But it was just a way for us, again, to get involved and to do things. I know so much of our lives had been involved with helping others and reaching out to doing other things, and I think Mitt saw politics as just another avenue to extend the way that we really lived our lives and cared for others and looked out for others.

    How hard was that loss on him? Some people said it was sort of one of the first big things that he had lost in his life.

    I think people would be surprised that Mitt doesn't measure his success by a political win or a political loss. We measure success by how we've done with our marriage and how we've done with our children. Those are the things that we measure our personal success by.

    It's hard when you go through a loss, but it wasn't devastating. And we moved on very, very quickly to something else. And we had the perspective of George Romney as well, which was wonderful. It's just always looking forward. He was still alive at that time, so he was involved in that at that race, too. And we had a lot of fun with him. Those were good memories, actually.

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    How did you first learn about Mitt Romney, who he was and all? What's the first moment you see and talk to him, whatever it is?

    Back in early fall of '93, the then-governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld, whose campaign I'd done, called and said: "There is a guy that's thinking of running against Teddy Kennedy, and would you meet him? We'd love some help, and he'd love to have you help him out." And so I met Mitt and Ann at one of the hotels here in Boston for breakfast, and that was the first time I met him.

    So take me there. What do you see when you see Mitt Romney? What's Ann like? What's their relationship like? And how was the breakfast?

    (Laughs.) Well, I knew, of course, about the Romney family; everybody knew George Romney. But I didn't know that he had a son that lived here and worked here. I didn't know about Bain Capital in those days and the great things that Mitt had done in building that company. So I sat down with Mitt, and he started talking about that he wanted to run against Teddy Kennedy. And I said: "You can't beat Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. You're just not running against Ted Kennedy. You're running against Rose Kennedy and JFK and RFK, and the whole tradition of service. It's a miracle when a Republican wins in Massachusetts. It would be like Our Lady of Lourdes to ever beat Ted Kennedy."

    And Mitt just laughed and chuckled and said, "But somebody ought to take him on." And that's when he decided he wanted to run against Ted Kennedy, when I said, "You can't do it." That's Mitt; he said, "I'm going to do it."

    Did you have a sense of why he wanted to run?

    He felt like he should be challenged, that Teddy hadn't had a tough challenger in a long time in the state. And he felt that he ought to step up and take him on in that race.

    Now, you're an experienced hand at that moment, and at this moment. You look at a guy like Mitt Romney who presents -- how did he present? What did he look like?

    Well, it was Mitt and Ann, and of course they're a great-looking couple, appearance-wise, when you first meet them. I mean, you think Ann's good-looking now? You should have seen her back then. She's just a wonderful lady. I thought it was cool that he had his wife with him; that told me a lot. A lot of times when you sit down with a guy that's thinking of running, it's just him or somebody, a business associate or something. So I liked that.

    What did it tell you that he had her with him?

    It told me that they had a partnership, that he wanted her involved in all of the decisions that he would be making. And Mitt and Ann are the ultimate partners. They are together, and they go through everything. All the experiences I've had with them, it's always -- it's Mitt, but it's always Mitt and Ann.

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    So when you sit with him at that moment, Charley, what are you assessing? ...

    Well, the fact that both of his parents had run for office I think gave me a sense that he knew what he was stepping into. Of course, it's a battleground here in Massachusetts. It's really a tough way to come up in the political world, especially if you're a Republican. But I thought he was very altruistic about his reasons for running – public service, direction of the country. And certainly I could see him as being a really good candidate.

    He was personable. I've sat down with people before and they were grumps. And you say, how can this guy go out and shake hands and meet people and campaign if they're like this sitting across the table from me? But Mitt definitely had personality, and he was obviously very smart. ... And I think it is important to make sure that guys like Ted Kennedy don't get a free ride every time, even though it would be almost impossible to beat him, that he should be challenged. And I like that Mitt said that, "Yep, somebody should step up and challenge him."

    And they know how to play the game; they know how to play dirty.

    They're tough. They run very tough campaigns, that's for sure, especially when they feel like they're challenged. Usually Teddy could just ignore his opponent, and the media would go along with it, and there would be a poll here or there that showed that the challenger never had a chance against Teddy. He might deign to have one debate on a Sunday morning somewhere where nobody would be watching it or seeing it, and that was it. And he had done that since he was first elected in '62, and it had always worked for him, but this would turn out to be his toughest challenge.

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    What was the plan, Charley? How did you decide to take this guy with his attractive qualities forward? ...

    Well, first of all, he had a primary. There were a bunch of folks that were running for that office, and some of them pretty good candidates, some well funded; others were good grassroots folks. ...

    And then we went out to the convention, and there were, I can't remember, four or five candidates. ...

    And then when it came time for Mitt to speak, he gave this amazing speech. ... And the entire convention hall went quiet. And he talked about when he had been a Boy Scout leader for his son's troop, and they had heard about a Boy Scout troop that had written to NASA and asked if they could get a flag on one of the space shuttles and then have it brought back to them, and they could fly that flag proudly.

    So NASA went along with it, and they sent in the flag, and it was put in a metal tube and loaded on to the space shuttle, and it was the Challenger. And when they found the debris of the Challenger in the water, they found the tube, and they found the flag, and the NASA people returned it to the Boy Scout troop, which made it even more poignant.

    So Mitt had heard about that through Boy Scout circles, and he asked the troop if he could have -- if they could use the flag at their installation of Eagle Scouts for their next big ceremony. And the troop said sure. And they sent it all insured and everything, and Mitt talked about opening up the box and holding that flag in his hands and looking at it and thinking what it had been through and thinking how much it mattered to our country.

    And there was total silence on the convention floor. And I think Mitt was the last to speak of the candidates. And then he finished his speech. They took the vote. And Mitt got, like, 75 percent of the vote. Only one of the other candidates got above the 15 percent threshold. So we still had a primary, but it made it a lot less complicated just to run against one person. ...

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    Was there a campaign big idea in that first run against Teddy?

    Well, in modern American politics there's three types of campaigns: There's image campaigns; there's structure campaigns; and there's issues campaigns. Now, on the issues, Mitt would be on the opposite of Teddy on all the key issues that people really cared about. Teddy wants higher taxes; Mitt wants lower taxes. Mitt is much more job-oriented and private sector-oriented; Teddy is much more government sector-oriented. ...

    On structure, we couldn't match them at all. They had one of the best teams ever that was put together. And as Teddy got into jeopardy, all the people that had worked for him over the years left their D.C. lobbying firms, law firms, wherever they were all over the country, and came back to work on Teddy's campaign, totally gratis. ...

    He had David Burke, the former head of ABC News, riding around in the car with him; you know Teddy. I had a kid that had just gotten out of college driving Mitt around. So we knew they were going to kill us on structure.

    But on personality, as huge a personality as Teddy is, that's where Mitt was almost able to match him, because he was so good on television. He had his issues down. He knew where he wanted to go. And he did a great job. And he's a tireless worker. You can see why he's so successful in everything that he's done in his life. He would work from, and campaign from, morning till night. And of course Teddy in those days couldn't do that anymore. So even though Teddy could beat us on that part, Mitt could come close to matching him.

    So in those three key aspects of modern American campaigns, just like we all thought, it was going to be hugely uphill, but we could be competitive a little bit and have some fun. It wasn't going to be one of the traditional old Kennedy blowouts. ...

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    Yeah. OK, so when do you get the word that you've got some pretty good numbers happening out there and there is something going on that's going to freak the Kennedys out?

    Well, you always can tell by what the other side is doing. And even before we had our primary in September for Mitt to win the Republican nomination, they had Joe Kennedy, who was then a congressman, Bobby's son, start viciously attacking Mitt's religion. He was putting out statements; he was giving interviews. And I really felt bad, because when you start a campaign and you get to know your candidate, you try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses and where the other side will come at you. And I distinctly remember sitting with Ann and Mitt and saying: "One thing I know, Mitt, is they're not going to attack you on your religion. They'll go after you on a zillion things, but the one thing they won't do, I promise you, is attack your religion." And Mitt said: "Great. Certainly that would be good."

    And then when they did, I just thought, boy, how low will the Kennedys go? Attacking someone's religion when you're from the family of the first Catholic president of the United States and you've seen that religious prejudice in a race. And then to step out there and stir the pot again, boy, that is really bad. ...

    But it showed me that they were really worried about him. ...

    Did he sort of roll it off then and say -- now they don't really talk about it, but was that the case always, even back then?

    What did we do? What I did is when somebody goes over the rails in a campaign like that, is I always go just as hard back at them. So I didn't have Mitt respond on that in any way. Our campaign really went after Joe Kennedy and called him a bigot and a religious bigot. And then there started to be some pressure built in Washington from other members of Congress, especially members of the Mormon Church, who were totally insulted. Could they say this about Mitt if any other religion? What if he had been Jewish and you had that type of attack going on? ...

    Did you worry that it actually was a big problem?

    As we went through the campaign, one of the most important blocs that a Republican needs to win in Massachusetts is Independent women. So we had our pollster, Linda Duvall, do a focus group of Independent women. ... And then she asked about, "Well, what do you know about Mitt Romney's religion, Mormonism, the Mormon faith?" And there was sort of like quiet, because nobody really wanted to say anything in this focus group.

    And then all of a sudden, one woman spoke up and said, "Well, I heard this," and then another woman said, "Well, I heard this." And you could tell that they really didn't know much, as most folks in Massachusetts knew, but you could tell that there was just enough out there. By creating the buzz and attacking Mitt's religion, the Kennedys were able to turn it into an issue and a question mark about Mitt, just because people didn't know that much about Mormons at that time. ...

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    Bain

    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    ... Isn't there a Bain moment, then, when they go after him on his record at Bain?

    Oh, sure, yes.

    That's the big bomb they drop.

    Right. What they did is, while Mitt was running against Teddy -- he had left in January, beginning of January in '94, had left Bain. Later that year, about June, a company that Bain owned bought a paper company, and one of the company's facilities was in Indiana. And they immediately tried to restructure the company. I think it had been a union company, and they wanted some concessions to keep it going, that type of thing.

    So that sort of went on through the summer, and it wasn't anything we knew about or were paying attention to in any way. And of course, the unions were backing Teddy in a huge way, and they got wind of this sort of labor unrest. And the Kennedy team went out there, ad team, and they put together these ads. You know, I give them credit -- people holding up signs, "Mitt Romney's trying to steal my job!" I'm sure the Kennedy people made all the signs and everything, because they, the folks at the paper company, had no idea who Mitt Romney was, let alone who probably Bain Capital was.

    It was a pretty big, it was a good ad. It really hit. But of course, it was totally unfair, because Mitt had nothing to do with the acquisition of the company that owned the plant; he was away from it.

    Then they decided to double down, and they brought a group of the paper workers out to Boston over the Columbus Day weekend. They arrived that Friday before Columbus Day weekend, and they had a rally in front of where Bain Capital's offices are, over in Copley Place. ...

    And we saw them on Sunday at the Columbus Day parade. They had them over there, had those folks over there. And I finally got to meet their union guy and some of the workers, and I said, "Hey, we'd really love to meet with you."

    So Mitt and Ann, everybody, we all marched in the parade. And then we called them, and Mitt and I went to see them, all those folks, on Sunday night. And Mitt was typical Mitt. He explained the sequence, explained what it was all about. And then, "Here's when you guys were acquired. I'm not with the company now. I made no decision in your acquisition or your work rules or anything."

    And they just said: "Can you help us? Is there anything you can do?" And Mitt said: "First of all, I'm not with the company. It would be wrong for me to interfere in a situation that I don't have anything to do with. I don't know what the numbers are. I don't know what the investment package is." And he just explained everything to them.

    And they all sort of looked at each other and said: "Then what are we doing out here if you can't help us? We came out to see if you could help us." And I said, "The Kennedy people are just using you guys to go after Mitt."

    So the very next day they went back to Indiana. But between the ads and then that media pulse that the Kennedy people and their friends in the unions built of bringing the workers out here, it was the story for 24 hours a day for over that whole Columbus Day weekend. ...

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    ... So the debates. Mitt really acquits himself in the debates, the way the story goes. Take me there -- the decision to debate, the plans, how he was prepared, the worry about Kennedy; how do you debate a Kennedy? All of that.

    Yep. OK, so Mitt wins the primary. It looks like it's going to be Teddy's toughest challenge ever. They do the normal Kennedy thing, saying, "We will debate you at 8:00 in the morning at a temple in Brookline, on a Sunday morning, and that's the only debate Sen. Kennedy's incredibly busy schedule allows him to have."

    So everybody went: "Wait a minute here. Now, you could get away with this in past years when you were running against someone we had never heard of, but we're not going to let him get away with that this time." Even the Globe, which was in Teddy's pocket for that whole race, wrote an editorial saying, "Sen. Kennedy should have real debates," and blah, blah, blah.

    So they finally agreed on two debates, one in the eastern part of the state and one in the western part of the state, both televised statewide, everybody picking it up. ... So the first one, we wanted to have it be Lincoln-Douglas-style, where the candidates would question each other. And that does two things: It takes a biased moderator out of it, because the only thing the moderator does it keep time; and then it keeps you from getting a loaded media panel that are going to say, "Sen. Kennedy, can you tell us how many millions of dollars, billions, you've brought to our state, and how we can thank you?," rather than, "Mr. Romney, as a disgusting businessman, how many people, widows and children, have you ripped off?" Back in those days, they were very --

    Wait. So how did you do on the first one?

    OK, so you want me to tell the story of the first one?

    Yeah, take them sequentially.

    OK. So the first one is now at Faneuil Hall. Mitt had had a couple of debates during the primary season, which were good, with newspapers and things and with his opponent. So that was good. He had been through it.

    Teddy at this stage now is big. He was coming off the Palm Beach scandal. He had married Vicki. But he's like 300 pounds; he's wandering around on the campaign trail and not looking all that good. So just in the optics of Mitt standing there and Teddy standing there, I think he's going to do fine. ...

    Was it your sense that Mitt was in any way intimidated by standing next to the venerable Kennedy sire?

    No, I don't think so, because I don't think he had any idea what it was going to be like, because he had never done one under that pressure and under everything that was going to be going on. And to me, that's fine. I was more than happy to have him just be positive and ready to go. ...

    So anyway, the day of the debate, I went over to Faneuil Hall to sort of see the setup and how everything looked, and the Kennedy team were all there, and what cameras would be doing what and everything. And they had these little, tiny pedestal, skinny rostrums for two candidates that they were each going to stand at. And [Kennedy adviser] Paul Kirk came over to me and he said: "You know what? The senator's back is really bad these days, and an hour-and-a-half debate, he's going to have to lean on something, and I don't know if that will hold up. Do you mind if we change the podiums and get different podiums for this?"

    And I said, "Well, let me check." So I called the headquarters, bounced it off a couple of our folks back there. Called Mitt. Mitt said: "Hey, if his back's bothering him, that's fine with me. Whatever makes the senator comfortable, that's fine." So I said, "Sure, you guys can change them."

    (Laughs.) So when we got back that night for the actual debate, they had these podiums that looked like where the rector preaches from at Trinity Church, you know? They were huge and gigantic and wide, and all curlicues, and all this stuff. And as soon as I saw it on a TV camera, I said, "They're doing this to hide Teddy's girth," because you couldn't see the two people behind it, and the little, skinny podium ones, it would have been just a totally different look. And point to Paul Kirk and those guys. Good job by them.

    So the Kennedy people get all of the union folks in Boston all riled up for the debate. It was on a weekday night, and they told them all to come and rally outside Faneuil Hall before the debate. So all the guys get off work. It's around 4:00. They hit the bars down around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and more and more and more are out there.

    So we get a call from the Boston Police, and they say -- our campaign headquarters was over in Cambridge. And they say: "It's a mad scene down here. We're going to have to get you an escort to get into the building." And we said, OK, fine. So we came across the river at the Longfellow Bridge, met them at Charles Circle. And they had eight or 10 motorcycle police officers there to guide us through the mobs of people at the site.

    So we're tearing down Cambridge Street, and Mitt just has this big smile on his face, and he looks at me and goes, "Boy, however this turns out, this really makes it worth it." And we were just laughing; it was really fun.

    So we get to the site, and they guide us through the crowd. And they have all these steel barriers there, and the guys were all screaming. And Mitt gets out of the car, and I get out of the car. And Mitt says, "Hey, might as well go shake some hands before we go in." He goes over to one of the steel barriers where a bunch of the union guys are, puts out his hand to shake it, two of them grab him by the hand, pull him over the barrier and into where they all are.

    And the motorcycle cops come running up, and I come running up, and we're grabbing him by the legs, pulling him back out. And I said, "Probably we ought to go in and get ready, not do any more handshaking out here." So we go in, and we start getting ready for the debate.

    How did he react to that?

    He was as stunned as all of us were.

    So during the debate, memorable moment?

    Well, that debate was all about expectations. And everybody was sort of watching Teddy to see if he could get through it. He had been on sort of a bad streak in those days and was big, and it was much more "Is Teddy going to fall over sometime during this?" And if he doesn't fall over sometime during it, then probably they're going to say that he did very well in the debate.

    And for his first debate, under those conditions and taking on Teddy, the "Lion of the Senate," and the screaming crowds outside and the huge crowd inside and national TV and everything, Mitt did a great job. He's one of those guys that every time I've been with him in a tough situation -- you know in sports we say he's a really clutch player? Mitt's a really clutch player, and he did a really good job in that debate.

    But Teddy held up well, and it was one of the most watched programs that's ever been on in Massachusetts. And a couple days after the debate, David Broder called, and he had been up for the debate from The Washington Post. He was checking in on the campaign, and he said, "Hey, I talked to the folks at C-SPAN" -- and they had carried the debate live on C-SPAN, nationally, and he said that they said it was the highest rated program that they had ever carried on C-SPAN, the first Romney-Kennedy debate. ...

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    Charley Manning   Adviser, 1994 Senate race

    Charley Manning is a Boston-based GOP adviser who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney in his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producers Michael Kirk and Gabrielle Tenenbaum on June 26, 2012.

    And I guess you knew you were going to lose on Election Day, but there's always some glimmer, some hope or something in the candidates, way in the recesses of the candidate. Did Mitt know he was going to lose? And was he OK about it?

    I always thought it would be a miracle if Mitt beat Teddy Kennedy in Massachusetts. It's a miracle whenever a Republican wins in Massachusetts anyway. But that would have been like Our Lady of Lourdes times three, to beat Teddy Kennedy in Massachusetts.

    So I never really thought he could win. And he's very disciplined, and he went through the process. Remember, his dad had lost, so he knew what that was like. His mother ran for the U.S. Senate, I think, in Michigan, and she had lost. So he had seen winning and losing, and he knew that that was part of it. ...

    How was Ann about going through the campaign? Sometimes the spouse takes it really personally -- when Joe Kennedy attacks their faith and her husband, and when they come after Bain and his career at Bain, where he's pretty much a straight arrow and a good guy. Oftentimes the spouse, it hurts the spouse more than it actually hurts the candidate. Is she one of those?

    First of all, in that first campaign, Ann wasn't as involved, because they still had younger kids. Like, Craig was a little guy in that campaign. So Ann did do some stuff, but not nearly as involved as she is now, because the whole family's grown up.

    And yeah, I think it was definitely tough for them, because Mitt's one of those guys who's basically been successful at everything he's tried in life. He was an A student, has done tremendously well in the business world. He's a straight arrow and a straight shooter, and usually that works out well for you. ...

    But getting back to Ann, it wasn't a happy night at campaign headquarters, but I've seen worse over the years. I've definitely seen worse. Because everybody sort of knew it was coming. Teddy had a big lead there at the end. And it still turned out to be the closest race he had ever had. And he got so nervous that he actually took out a mortgage on his house down in Washington to spend even more money attacking Mitt with negative ads. And I said: "Hey, Mitt, you finally made a Kennedy spend some money of their own on a campaign. That's not too bad at all."

    So on that election night, Teddy won, and Mitt went back to Bain Capital. ...

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    Geoff Rehnert   Bain Capital colleague

    Geoff Rehnert is co-chief executive officer of the investment firm Audax Group. Previously, he served as managing director of Bain Capital, which he helped start with Mitt Romney in 1984. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum and Michael Kirk on June 12, 2012.

    In 1993, 1994, tell me how you learned he was considering a run for the Senate and what your reaction was.

    Mitt, in late 1993 -- we were still a relatively small firm -- he mentioned to me that he was considering running against Ted Kennedy for Senate.

    I was surprised, because up to that point Mitt had shown little or no interest in politics, despite the fact that his father had run for president in 1968 and had been governor of Michigan. And I'm an avid history buff, so I was always interested to sort of get Mitt's perspective on his father. And Mitt was very focused on building Bain Capital, focused on his family; he was not expressing any political interest. And I was surprised.

    He said that it was a combination of his father and also Ann that prompted that. And he said his father was 86 years old. His father was still in very good health in 1993, but he realized that he didn't have a lot longer, and if his father was going to ever see Mitt take his first step into the world of public service, this was probably a good opportunity to do it.

    Mitt, I think, at that point felt that Bain Capital was on pretty solid footing, that if he were to win, which was obviously a long shot -- it was a long shot for anybody to beat Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, and Mitt was always very realistic about that -- but if for some fluke he wound up winning, that Bain Capital had sort of established itself as a leader in its industry, and Bain & Company at that point was flourishing. It had gone through the turnaround, was doing very well. And I think he felt that it would be a good thing for him to do while his father was still alive to be able to see him and to participate. ...

    After Mitt lost, he was in -- Mitt doesn't like to lose, so it was very painful for him to be out there to ask people to give him money and then to wind up not winning, because there was a period where Mitt polled pretty close to Ted Kennedy in the polls. And after the primary in September, the polling numbers were pretty close, and there was a period where I think people thought he might have a shot at doing what at the time seemed to be unthinkable.

    And so tell me a little bit more about that, about how he took that loss.

    Well, it was visibly painful for him. It was, I believe, probably the first public failure he had ever experienced, and I think at a deep level that was painful for him. It was painful for Ann. I think he felt like he let people down who had believed in him. And I think he was back in the office the next day and happy to get back to work.

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    Geoff Rehnert   Bain Capital colleague

    Geoff Rehnert is co-chief executive officer of the investment firm Audax Group. Previously, he served as managing director of Bain Capital, which he helped start with Mitt Romney in 1984. This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum and Michael Kirk on June 12, 2012.

    They came down pretty hard on him during -- the Kennedy campaign really went after him, and one of the things they went after was his Bain career. How did that hit home and him and you all?

    Well, it came sort of coming down the homestretch, and it was something I don't think anybody saw coming.

    There was a plant of a company that had just been acquired -- it actually was acquired after Mitt had already left and was running for office -- where the workers went on strike, and the Kennedy campaign quickly figured out if they could get the striking workers to come back -- and Massachusetts is a very Democratic, pro-union state -- that that would probably help his cause. So it was one of those things that Mitt really wasn't prepared for.

    Mitt wasn't part of Bain Capital; he had taken a leave of absence, so Bain Capital really didn't want to get into the fray itself. And Mitt was in the position of having to try to explain something he really didn't know much about, because he was off campaigning and didn't have the details of why these guys were on strike and what was going on. ...

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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 »

    But after he lost, he told me how much he hated losing, and it was really painful getting over the loss. And that was very, very difficult on him. But there was never a time that he thought he could win. He said: "There was never one day that I thought I was going to win. I went into it thinking that there might be a shot, and that I should take the shot, but I never one day did I think I was going to win."

    He said, "I'm never going to go into another race without thinking that I could win." He's a very determined guy.

    And it was one of the first real times that he had a real failure like that. So what do you think he learned from that experience?

    I think he learned a lot about politics. And he learned how to get over tough things. He's had other tough things in his life, but he learned how to get over a disappointment, and he decided how he was going to do something differently the next time and how to go about it.

    Just as the car accident that he had caused him to have greater motivation in his life, I think that loss caused him to have greater motivation to do it differently the next time.

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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 »

    Your father was very present during that run.

    He was very present. As a matter of fact, my mother wasn't particularly well, so my father had a new downstairs built in their home and had a couple move in so that they could be with her while he was gone.

    He came to Boston, and he would always take the subway to wherever Mitt was; he would never take a taxi or anything else. He was always giving advice. ...

    So we all did come. And I remember my dad said, "Let's all spread out across the state, and we'll all go everywhere and we can deliver the message." And my brother said, "No, I'd like you all to just stay together and go on a train together and do one thing together."

    My dad called me, and he said: "You've got to talk to Mitt. You've got to tell him." And I said: "Dad, it's Mitt's race. Ten years from now he ought to be able to say he did it his way." And my dad, in his late 80s -- one year later died; he was 87 -- he said: "Oh, you're right. Let's do what Mitt wants."

    He was such a passionate guy, but you could discuss things with him, and he would change his mind. ...

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