Mitt Romney's Eldest Son Says Dad Was Calm Before Debate
Family read Twitter, laughed at funny tweets after debate before Tagg Romney headed to Wisconsin to stump for his father.
At least one Romney was a nervous wreck Wednesday night before the first presidential debate, which could prove to be a critical juncture in the race for the White House.
It was not, however, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was cool as a cucumber, according to Tagg Romney, his eldest son.
"I had a headache and I was feeling a lot of anxiety," Tagg Romney during an interview with Patch on Friday as he campaigned in Wisconsin. "I knew it was a very big moment and probably one of the biggest moments in the campaign."
Those tense feelings subsided about 10 minutes into the debate.
"My mom looked over at me about the same time when I realized it was going really well and she gave me a little hug," he said. "I turned to my brother Craig and he put out his fist and we gave each other small little knuckles. We all knew dad got this one."
After the debate, Tagg Romney and his brothers gathered in his parents' hotel room, where the family discussed the night.
"We read Twitter. We were laughing at some of the funnier comments on Twitter," he said. "We stayed up for a couple of hours trying to get the adrenalin out of our systems, then we went off to bed and scattered to the wind the next morning."
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Pundits from both sides of the aisle believe Mitt Romney owned the night. He bettered President Barack Obama in style points with an aggressive articulation of the direction he plans to take the country if elected. Obama, on the other hand, seemed sluggish as he passively lumbered through the 90-minute debate at the University of Denver.
Although political analysts gave Romney a win in the debate and post-debate polls show the Republican gaining on Obama, it's still an uphill battle for the GOP challenger. Romney trails in many of the swing states — including Wisconsin — that he must win to become president.
"I think we are going to win Wisconsin. We have a very good shot here," Tagg Romney said.
'To Me, He is Still My Dad'
Even with his father having been in the political spotlight since a lost Senate bid in 1994, the entire presidential campaign is somewhat surreal for Tagg Romney.
"I have always known I was very lucky to have my mom and dad as my parents, and I have always known how talented they both are and how good they are. It's a very strange experience to have the world get to know it too," he said. "I cannot be more convinced that he is going to be a fantastic president, but at the same time it's a little strange to think that he might be. To me he is still dad … for me, I'm not sure if it will ever be real."
Romney has had a tough time shedding the out-of-touch rich guy persona while on the campaign trail. What hasn't helped has been his unwillingness to release additional years of his income tax statements along with a secretly taped conversation that caught him brushing aside 47 percent of Americans because they "are dependent upon government and ... believe that they are victims."
But Tagg Romney say there's no question his dad cares greatly about middle America.
"The reason he is running is because he is worried about America and working America, especially the middle class (that) are getting squeezed in this economy," he said. "You cannot find anyone who knows him well that would say that he isn't a caring, compassionate man."
Tagg Stumps in Wisconsin for Dad
Tagg Romney spent the two days following the debate in Wisconsin, where he made several campaign stops on behalf for his father.
Romney was in Germantown on Thursday night at a campaign office, speaking to a volunteers. On Friday morning, he met with a group of Republican students from Marquette University.
He also spent time in Janesville with vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's brother, Tobin, and Ryan's wife Janna, meeting with campaign volunteers.
"I was just getting the message out about my dad, and asking people to vote for him," Tagg Romney said.
Romney enjoyed bratwurst at State Street Brats while in Madison and made a stop at Times Square Bistro & Pizzeria in Milwaukee.
"I have really enjoyed getting to meet a lot of good people and eat a lot of good food," he said.