MITT ROMNEY AND ANN DAVIES ROMNEY
Married Since: 1969
Family Album: Five sons, 16 grandchildren.
As Mitt tells it, the Romney marriage is a real love story. "We met in elementary school," he said in a 2006 speech that is posted on his campaign website. "I was a Cub Scout, and she was riding a horse bareback over some railroad tracks. What do Cub Scouts do when they see a little girl on a horse? We picked up stones and threw them." Years later, in 1965, he refined his style and asked her out to see The Sound of Music, which had recently opened. After that, Romney said, "I didn't want to be anywhere else but with Ann." He proposed at the senior prom, and she accepted. They were married in 1969, on the fourth anniversary of that first date. In the speech, he lists the reasons he loves her. First is her honesty. "There's no shading, there's no guile," he says, adding that "she has an incomprehensible capacity to love, and because she's honest, people recognize that she cares for them." And after all these years, "her love for me, of course, is the greatest source of joy I could possibly have.
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Ann was raised Episcopalian, but converted to Mormonism after meeting Mitt, who comes from a prominent Mormon family. His faith is a problem for evangelical Christians, who are also mistrustful of his flip-flops. He supported abortion rights and gay rights in his 1994 Senate campaign, but changed these positions when he decided to run for president. Mitt sometimes battles skepticism about his religion with humor, and even jokes about polygamy, repudiated by the Mormon church more than a century ago. "I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman…and a woman…and a woman," he cracked at the 2005 St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Boston.