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Will Mitt Romney appear onstage with Ann tonight?

August 28, 2012|By Robin Abcarian
  • Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, stands on stage for a microphone check at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the second day, and first full day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney,… (Oliver Douliery / Abaca…)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Minutes before Mitt Romney’s chartered plane touched down in Florida, bringing the candidate and his wife to town for Ann Romney’s much-anticipated convention speech Tuesday night, Romney chief spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said there was no chance Mitt Romney would have stayed behind in Boston.

“I don’t think you could keep him away from watching her giving the speech,” Gitcho told Fox News. Gitcho also hinted that Romney may join his wife onstage.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” she said coyly when asked. Not a definite yes, but certainly not a definite no. (It’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine that Romney campaign brains would not want the world to see images of a proud husband hugging his adored wife in what is bound to be an emotional aftermath of the most important speech of her life.)

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Expectations for Ann Romney’s speech are understandably high, as she is seen as one of the few people in the world who can warm up his somewhat chilly image, particularly among women voters, who prefer President Obama by substantial margins.

“Ann Romney is a remarkable woman,” said Gitcho. “Mrs. Romney can talk about what her husband has been like as husband, father, grandfather. They are a very good pair and I think you will see that from the speech.”

Ann Romney, who received her own U.S. Secret Service detail on Friday, is expected to speak around 10 p.m. Eastern time (7 p.m. Pacific), just before the convention’s keynoter, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie takes the stage.

PHOTOS: The protests of the GOP convention

Before her speech, Romney was expected to be a featured guest at a $1,000-per-person-and-up fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency hotel for Florida U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, who is in a fierce race for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson.

In a chat with reporters flying with them from Massachusetts, Ann Romney said she was excited about her convention speech, but a little nervous about using a teleprompter for the first time.

At least she’ll have the comfort of knowing that her husband is close. Probably very, very close.

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robin.abcarian@latimes.com

Twitter: @robinabcarian

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