RD Interview: Mitt Romney

On his campaign bus in Zanesville, Ohio, the Republican nominee talks with Reader’s Digest editor Liz Vaccariello about memory, marriage—and his favorite joke.

from Reader's Digest Magazine | November 2012

RD Interview: Mitt RomneyPhotograph by Steve Vaccariello
Reader’s Digest: If you had to write a book about this campaign experience, what would the title be?

Mitt Romney: The title of this campaign … The Longest Journey.

RD: After all these years as a public figure, do you think the American people know the real Mitt Romney? Maybe I should ask, What do you want us to know about you that we don’t know?

Romney: I don’t think people know me terribly well, because I was governor of one state and haven’t been seen by people across the nation. But they’ll come to know me as time goes on. I’m a family guy. Most important thing in my life by far is my relationship with my wife and my sons, daughters-in-law, and 18 grandchildren. And for me, this is all about them.

RD: This campaign?

Romney: This campaign. The reason I’m in this campaign is for my kids and for their kids, and for the young people of America.

RD: Reader’s Digest is in 76 countries around the world, most of which will publish this interview. So finish this sentence: The world needs the next president of the United States to …

Romney: Keep America strong. Strong in our values, strong in our economy, and strong in our military might. We hope to never have to use our military strength, but the world counts on a strong America to keep the worst actors from doing the worst things.

RD: How about this sentence: Americans need the next president to …

Romney: Build a stronger economy and restore the principles that made America the economic powerhouse it has long been.

RD: A president has to make life-and-death decisions—to kill an enemy of the United States, for example, or to go to war. How would you explain such a decision to a child, perhaps one of your grandchildren?

Romney: The decision to put American lives at risk is a decision that has a very high hurdle to pass. There would have to be a substantial American interest at stake. We would have to understand clearly what our mission was, how we would achieve it. We would need to provide to our men and women the resources to be successful. We would need to understand how we would leave and what would go on after we were home. I would explain to my children very simply that the defense of liberty is a cause that exacts a very high price in the history of humankind.

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  • Your Comments

    • Charles Tyler

      Obama’s word is Grace – a word that as a Christian I have heard in church all my life.
      Romney’s word is Indomitable – incapable of being overcome. translation – UNRELATEABLE or OUT-OF-TOUCH

    • Par

      I like him even more-I like the person he is-a family man and in the USA we are one family, some close – some distant – but One USA (Us Americans)

    • Par

      I like him even more-I like the person he is-a family man and in the USA we are one family, some close – some distant – but One USA (Us Americans)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juliet-Giles/100003226764767 Juliet Giles


    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juliet-Giles/100003226764767 Juliet Giles


    • Nancy Maison

      Prior to this campaign, I had no particular interest in Mitt Romney.  As I view his demeanor and hear him speak with such conviction and genuine character, I have come to greatly respect the man Mitt Romney –who consistently shows love and affection for his God and his family.  I believe this deep level of caring is inherent and will flow out to his countrymen as a responsible and capable President of the USA.

    • Yousuf Panawala

      Not impressive- very ordinary. It appears he is confined to his family, his sons and opportunities for them.

    • Speaker Nightlight

      Romney is such a man of true character- as is Ryan. I pray our country does not miss the opportunity to be led by such morality, and gives up its usual addiction to the smarmy morality of the Obama/Bidenesque politicians.

    • Anonymous

      Wonderful!! I hope for my kids’ sake that this man gets elected.

    • Jesterfuul

      My favorite word  for  Romney is ABOMINABLE!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VIFLIUWENWFLCTH7I4HEMLTZQ Guiseppe Gagliano

        You mispelled: It should be Obanahable.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VIFLIUWENWFLCTH7I4HEMLTZQ Guiseppe Gagliano

          Barry is an Obamination.