During her Republican National Convention speech last month, Ann Romney suggested that she and her husband had once been so poor that they “ate a lot of pasta and Tuna fish” and their “dining room table was a fold down ironing board.”
In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC, Ann Romney distanced herself from that version of history.
“Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives,” the Republican presidential nominee’s wife explained. “But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they have been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.”
“One of the things that I, again, like to remind people is that multiple sclerosis has been my teacher,” she added. “It has been at times a cruel teacher, but it has also been a great gift to my life because what it has done, it has taught me to be more compassionate in caring for others that are suffering. And I know people are suffering right now. And for people to think that we don’t have empathy just because we’re not suffering like they’re suffering is ridiculous.”
But in her convention speech, Ann Romney had talked about the tough times after the young couple had gotten married and moved into a “basement apartment.”
“We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and Tuna fish,” she recalled. “Our desk was a door propped up on saw horses, our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. But those were the best days.”
A fact check by The Atlantic‘s Elspeth Reeve determined that Ann Romney’s convention story did not match up with her previous claims.
“Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time,” she had told The Boston Globe when her husband was running for Senate in 2004.
Watch this video from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Sept. 9, 2012.