Mitt Romney’s son visits Kent campaign headquarters

Alyssa DeGeorge

During a visit to the Mitt Romney Kent Victory Office Friday night, Craig Romney, the youngest of the presidential candidate’s sons, offered insight on the character of the former governor of Massachusetts.

Craig Romney said he prefers to let the politicians talk about policies so he can tell family stories that let voters get to know a more personal side of his father.

He discussed Mitt Romney’s efforts in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, his accomplishments as a businessman and governor and his personality at home.

“He’s famously frugal,” Craig Romney said. “I think my mom might even say cheap.”

The economy is the most important issue to many of the Romney supporters. Vic Carter, a self-employed property manager and Kent State alumnus, said if the economy isn’t fixed, other issues will be irrelevant as the country fails.

“If you don’t keep financial house in order, you don’t have a house,” he said. “Romney is the best choice because he’s a skilled, experienced man at financially evaluating and then correcting the financial troubles of the United States.”

Mitt Romney is committed to small business owners and knows what it takes to help them, Craig Romney said.

“He knows how to get this economy back on track and people back to work, and I think that we saw in the debate that clearly my dad is poised to lead on those issues. And we want to make sure that people in Ohio know that,” he said.

Craig Romney said Mitt Romney’s best qualities as a father would also make him a successful president.

“Almost every Saturday morning growing up he would knock on our door pretty early and get us out to work in the yard,” Craig Romney said. “He wanted to make sure we understood the value of a good day’s hard work, and he’s a tremendously hard worker. You see a glimpse of it in the campaign trail, but really in office I think he will shine.”

The hard work of Kent republicans played an important part in Craig Romney’s visit.

“I’m here in Kent because we have some great volunteers here,” Craig Romney said. “I kind of came here to pat them on the back, but also to encourage them to keep working hard.”

Stephen Dawson, the president of the Kent State college republicans, said the opportunity to meet with one of the candidate’s sons is inspiring and important for students and volunteers.

“We’ve been putting up pretty good numbers at the Victory Center,” Dawson said. “It’s always good to see that your hard work is paying off and what you’re putting in to it is being recognized for what it is.”

Devin Schaack, an eighth-grader at Streetsboro Middle School, made 1600 phone calls for the Romney campaign and hopes to make 500 more tomorrow. He said this would give him the opportunity to meet Mitt Romney.

Craig Romney’s visit to Kent made him feel like his efforts matter.

“It really meant a lot to me because I’m really working at it,” Devin said. “It made me feel more proud about myself.”

But Craig Romney made it clear that the job isn’t over yet as he encouraged volunteers to continue their hard-work right up to election day.

“There’s plenty of time for sleep in 32 more days,” he said laughing.

Carter said Craig Romney’s visit was an important opportunity for Kent citizens to learn more about Mitt Romney’s character.

“It introduces the general public—the voting public—to the qualities that the family represents,” Carter said. “If the kids are of the quality that we saw tonight, then obviously the parents contributed to that and have the same good qualities.”

One of the biggest misconceptions Craig Romney wants to right is that his father is always serious.

“You hear all sorts of stuff about my dad, but I know that he’s a man of tremendous experience and integrity. He’s a loving father, and I think people often don’t see kind of the lighter side of my dad,” he said. “It’s hard to get to know someone through a debate or a town hall, but he is a lot of fun to be around.”

Contact Alyssa DeGeorge at [email protected].