Ours is a factual story that provides a rare glimpse and insight into the real Mitt Romney. Does he really relate to the average American? As President, would he impose his beliefs on others?
Growing up in Florida and Pennsylvania, we knew little to nothing of Utah, Mitt Romney, his family or values, beliefs, religion and his capabilities. We were amazed by what we learned.
We are messengers, delivering facts and initially were not Mitt Romney supporters nor anti-Obama. The facts do change who we support. We are not part of any campaign, not Mormon nor religious activists. We have voted for Democrats and Republicans and believe voters should elect the best person regardless of political party.
When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public's view and when they are not running for office. Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney's Park City, Utah home. His family lived in this home for about ten years.
Because our purchase included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware. What we experienced was not what we expected. Not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.
The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. It is located in a public neighborhood and without gates. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. There are no maid, butler or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware.
The kitchen was simple and typical of most homes with kids, very much like those in which we were raised. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store.
In the most honored place in the master bedroom hung a painting of Jesus Christ. Most
Americans know little about Mormonism and we didn't either. The home is beautiful, but far more important and often falsely reported or overlooked are the facts the Romneys selected a public neighborhood and actually chose not to build a truly luxury estate. It is a home noteworthy not for what they built, but more for what they did not and easily could have. Mitt and his family are much more in-touch with average Americans than many people realize.
They had a home of faith and family just like many of us. One of the most interesting questions many have asked is, "As president will he impose his beliefs on others?" Many claim that a President Romney would take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. The Romney home contents gave us insight into this question.
One of the strongest Mormon beliefs is the prohibition against drinking alcohol. We were surprised to find a small supply which we were told was available for guests, not for the family. Mitt Romney had a respect for his guest's wishes. By not imposing his beliefs on others even within his own home, then clearly a President Romney would not take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. Those making such accusations should stop. The facts do not support their claims.
When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time. We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home's equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems.
To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family's clothes, his family's photos, his family's mementos, his grandchildren's toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck. Then, after answering all our questions Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck and began the long drive to his new home by himself.
It is amazing what can be learned about someone from observing the smallest details. In the Romney's family mud room, where the boots and outdoor clothing were stored, we found the Governor's ski gloves. One of his son's apologized for his dad's lack of concern about his appearance when Mitt went skiing because the gloves would surely be noticed. They were worn out and had holes in the fingers. Mitt had gone to the garage tool box and wrapped them with duct tape. Thrifty? Yes, and the repair provided an immediate practical solution rather than traveling to the store to buy a new pair. His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities, but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.
As you have read, our story is not about a wealthy man's nice home or its beautiful contents. It is about the story they tell and how our experiences with him showed the real Mitt Romney. How his family truly lived is a real indication of their values and beliefs. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many of us have been led to believe. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch. He is a man of faith, family and American values. A guy who is well-grounded. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done. The fact that he has allowed this to be kept so very private is a true testament to his character and shows how different he is from many other politicians.
Who are we and why are we speaking out? We want nothing more than for our fellow citizens to know what we know. We live in Miami and Utah. Hal was raised in Florida, is a farmer, race car driver and retired after creating a number of successful businesses. Corinne is a retired government employee. We do not come from wealthy families. Our parents worked average jobs. Our fathers were a mailman and an engineer. Our mothers were a nurse and a housewife. We struggled, worked hard and are grateful for having been rewarded over the years. We have never given up on achieving the American dream. But the story we tell is not about us.
As Americans, we depend on our press to provide us with factual and unbiased information. We hear politicians sometimes misspeak and others take their statements out of context. Many times it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Over the past few months, we have noticed how different from reality some of the public perceptions and media presentations of Governor Romney are. Unfortunately, some political opponents spread false information and misconceptions. This is wrong.
This injustice and the value of our story has led us to speak up and provide these facts. No one can say with absolute certainty what kinds of decisions a president will make while still a candidate for that office. To predict, we only have access to their words, history and if available the most useful facts of all, how they acted out of public view and when they are not running for office. This is why our story is so important, valuable and must be told. No doubt some will want to dismiss our story, argue that it is not newsworthy nor relevant and possibly subject us to an undesired spotlight. However, we hope the American people are given the opportunity to hear the truth, especially when the facts directly contradict what many people think to be true.