Ann Romney might have won over more women on Tuesday night with a speech that helped humanize her husband, MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview at the Republican National Convention.
Scarborough, a former congressman from Florida, said Ann Romney was “a huge hit” inside the convention hall.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“We were wondering whether she did as well on TV out in Middle America,” he said. “And John Heilemann [of New York magazine] said this morning she should have told more personal stories about Mitt Romney. They may just not be emotional exhibitionists. They may not have bought into the Age of Oprah and that may be a pretty good thing.”
Brzezinski said at first she didn’t think Ann Romney was able to humanize her husband Mitt, the Republican presidential nominee, but was swayed on Wednesday.
“I didn’t think so, but you know what, after we had a lot of discussion about this on the set this morning I think actually I was swayed a little bit,” she said. “David Gregory [of NBC News] especially made some great points about the fact that she celebrated her love for him and her marriage and that people really like that.
"I think I was looking for something more, maybe for her to connect to women across the country who are facing tough times but that may not be really what she needed to do. I think she was beautiful and she was lovely and it probably was a great success ultimately.”
Scarborough said she may have won over some women voters with the convention speech.
“I think she may have,” he said. “ I think that any time you have a guy like Mitt Romney who is distant, a bit removed, not a natural politician, anything helps to humanize him and I think last night may have done that.”
Voters may get to like Romney more, Scarborough said, but he is more interested in hearing his policies instead of personal stories.
“I can tell you for myself I want, I’m a lot more interested in hearing about, his policies than some personal story that happened 15 years ago that reveals the essence of the man,” Scarborough said. “I want to hear what he’s going to do on entitlement reform because we’re going to be bankrupt.
"Entitlements are going to bankrupt us. I want to know how we’re going to balance the budget … I want to know about tax reform. I want to know when we’re going to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.”
“I want to know when we’re going to stop reinvesting in other countries and start reinvesting in America,” he continued. “You know there’s so many issues that I want to hear about that I really think Mitt Romney could excite the base, excite people like me who have felt betrayed by a big government Republican Party over the past 12 years. I think if he does that, that will go a long way. Keep your biography to yourself. Tell me how you’re going to save America from massive debt.”
Brzezinski said there isn’t much more to tell about who Romney is and that he is “truly likable.”
“He’s really likable and if anything he’s too giving when he’s in social situations and gets himself in trouble with awkward gaffes,” she said. “He is a truly likable guy, a lovely man, a great father, a great husband. We’ve known him for a long time. I know him. I’ve met Ann. I went horseback riding with her. They are so nice. There’s nothing more they can do on the likability meter.
"They do have to kind of keep him out of trouble because he gives a lot, actually, when he’s connecting with people and then, ultimately, says something that can get completely misconstrued because he’s trying so hard to be nice because he is genuinely a really nice person.”
With vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan taking the stage on Wednesday night, Scarborough said the Wisconsin congressman needs to just be himself to connect with voters.
“I would say the same thing about Paul that I said about Governor Romney,” he said. “I’ve known Paul for a very long time. He is a small-government conservative, he is a true believer and I’m excited about that. I hope they don’t try to make him a touchy-feely guy.
"I hope they let Paul Ryan, as everybody says, be Paul Ryan and talk about cutting the rate of growth on Medicare, cutting the rate of growth on Social Security, telling people the truth. You’re not going to get Social Security when you’re 65 if you’re in your 40s or younger.”
Brzezinski added, “The only thing I hope he does is keeps it short because we watched him speak at CPAC and he went on too long. He should just get right to the point.”
Scarborough said the GOP’s strategy of highlighting President Barack Obama’s negative tone in the campaign is effective.
“Their strategy’s really working out well and that strategy is to say the guy from hope and change is running a bitter, nasty campaign,” he said. “Of course, it goes both ways but the essence of what Barack Obama is and what he was four years ago was he was supposed to be a positive candidate that changed the tone in Washington and running a negative campaign actually hurts him more than it hurts Mitt Romney because people don’t expect Mitt Romney to be Mr. Hope and Change.”
The race at this point is a tossup, both hosts agreed.
“I always said most Americans, if you look at the polls, they think Barack Obama’s going to win, even if they’re voting for Mitt Romney,” Scarborough said.
“I have been saying that up until this week. I’ve said, you know, President Obama’s going to win by a point or two. But I’ll tell you what, we are dead even after a really rough year for Republicans, after the Todd Akin controversy just last week, after a really nasty primary process and the fact that we’re still dead even after a rough year says a lot about the weakness of Barack Obama. So I hate to be a wimp about it but it’s a tossup right now. And for Republicans, that’s a really good thing.
Added Brzezinski, “It’s a huge opportunity. I’m surprised they’re not doing better. I used to think Obama would win this election. Right now, I have no do idea.”
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