Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann Romney speak at a campaign fundraising event in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Charles Dharapak/AP)

She’s been called the fire to his ice, and this exchange reveals why. Ann Romney doesn’t posess — or just doesn’t care to show — the unflappability Mitt has demonstrated consistently throughout the campaign. At least, she doesn’t when it comes to Mitt.

Here’s more from her interview:

You want to try it? Get in the ring. This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.

Her tone changed when the host asked about those critics, which include the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol. It was just a little change, but it was noticeable: a tone you can imagine her sons recognizing as “when mom meant business.”

“It’s nonsense” she said of the “chattering class” in the same steely tone.

Her defensiveness toward her husband’s critics brought to mind another campaign spouse, who in 2008 was bullish about his wife’s chances: President Clinton.

Ann Romney was quick to defend her role as a stay-at-home mom when Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen said she had “never worked a day in her life.” She could rebuff those statements with a smile.

But she sounded genuinely agitated as she defended her husband. A cancer survivor with multiple sclerosis, she knows when things are “hard” — and criticizing her husband is obviously a pain point for her.

The Romney campaign is having a hard patch now, and there will be more before Election Day. Ann’s words will be scrutinized, just like her outfits have been along the way. But while GOP critics may be cool to he campaign strategy, Ann Romney sounds like she’s ready with the fire.


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