Last night, Mitt Romney at a rally in St Petersburg, Florida, for first time since announcing his bid for the presidency, talked about his encounter with David Oparowski. You may remember the story was told by his parents at the convention, his was one of three stories told at the convention and can be seen in my post “Mitt the man”.
Buzzfeed describes the moment:
Romney described meeting the boy, who had leukemia, at his home not long before he died.
“He said, ‘Mitt, what’s next,'” Romney said. “He called me Brother Romney. What’s next? And I talked to him about what I believe is next.”
“I went to David’s bedside and got a piece of legal paper, made it look very official,” Romney said, recounting a meeting shortly afterwards at a hospital. “And then David proceeded to tell me what he wanted to give his friends. Talked about his fishing rod, and who would get that. He talked about his skateboard, who’d get that. And his rifle, that went to his brother.”
Romney quoted from one of his favorite TV shows, “Friday Night Lights,” to describe the character of Oparowski.
“I’ve seen the character of a young man like David, who wasn’t emotional or crying. He had his eyes wide open. There’s a saying, clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. David couldn’t lose. I loved that young man,” Romney said.
He also recounted meeting an old friend from his graduate school days at an Atlanta fundraiser three weeks ago. The man, Billy Hulse, was a quadriplegic following an accident.
“And I put my hand on Billy’s shoulder and I whispered into his ear, and I said, ‘Billy, God bless you, I love ya,'” Romney said. “And he whispered right back to me — and I couldn’t quite hear what he said. He tried to speak loud enough for me to hear.”
“He died the next day,” Romney recounted, as the crowd deflated and expressed sympathy.
Fresh off a debate victory on Wednesday night which proved his bolstered his “presidential” image, Romney is trying to seal the deal with voters by allowing them to see his oft-hidden emotional side.
A third story recounted the story of Jane Horton, the wife of a military sharpshooter who was killed in Afghanistan:
On the day she’s packaging up some goodies to go in his birthday package, a knock comes at the door, and they inform her that her husband had been killed, and she decides to devote herself to helping the families of others who have lost their loved ones. He was killed on September 9th 2011. And this was a time when some very misguided people were protesting at the funerals of our servicemen and women—you recall that? And they came to the funeral of her husband. And she was asked, what do you think about this, and this is the quote—she said this: ‘Chris died for them to be able to protest.’ Chris died for them to be able to protest. This is quite a nation we live in, with some extraordinary people.
See if for yourself. Okay, mostly you can hear it. This section begins at around the 10:00 mark. Watching this video gives you a true feeling of the energy greeting Governor Romney.