By Ed Runyan
Craig Romney, 31, the youngest son of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, says he had concerns when his father said in 2010 he was thinking about running for president a second time.
Romney’s father sat down with the family and asked whether they thought he should run.
“My biggest concern was that people wouldn’t see him for who he truly is, that he would be defined simply by his opponent,” the younger Romney said Friday evening at the Mahoning County Republican Headquarters on Boardman-Canfield Road.
“Fortunately, Wednesday night, people got the chance to see who this man truly is,” he said of this week’s debate.
“At the convention in Tampa, people saw my mom did such a great job saying regardless of whether you agree with his policies, at least know that you can trust my husband.
“So I think people have begun to see that, and that’s a great relief to me,” he told the crowd of about 100.
“He’s achieved tremendous things, but to me still his greatest accomplishment is what he achieved in our home — raising myself and my four brothers, teaching us to love our country and to love our neighbor, to love God.”
Romney said analysts have sometimes accused his father of not having a heart, but the story of how his father helped a partner in his business find his missing daughter shows that is not true.
When Romney’s partner came to him and said his daughter was missing, Romney “shut down his company and went to look for this girl.”
The search party drew the attention of the news media, which reported on it. That led to a phone call from the male who was with the girl, and the girl eventually was found in New Jersey, having suffered a severe overdose of drugs.
The doctors at the hospital who treated the girl “went up to her dad and they said, ‘You are very lucky you found her when you did. If you hadn’t, she probably wouldn’t have made it.’”
After his talk, the younger Romney shook hands and took pictures with many of those in attendance.
Harry Britt of Howland said the stories Craig Romney told match what he learned when he researched the candidate’s background, especially Romney’s time as a bishop in the Mormon church.
“If you are a bishop in the Mormon Church, you have to handle the problems in the church,” he said. Romney spent around 30 hours a week helping people with their personal concerns, Britt said.
“I think when you hear stories like this, it’s humanizing,” Britt said. “The Democrats are always touchy-feely. [Romney] has brains and feeling.”
Joanne Baird of Goshen Township said she is voting for Romney because she has five children and four grandchildren.
“I cry when I think of what’s ahead if [President Barack Obama] is elected.”