A 37-year-old stay-at-home mom put Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the spot this morning.
Lanae Price was the next-to-last person to ask Romney a question this morning during an event in Indianola. "It concerns me that so many of the people that we have elected into office…cannot even relate to what the average American is going through and I look at like the gas prices and health care and things that are just skyrocketing out of control — how are you going to be any different?" Price asked.
Romney started his reply with a general statement. "Well, I’ve had the fun of being able to make a difference for middle income Americans by taking on a couple of important topics," Romney said.
Then Romney talked about tackling health care reform when he was governor of Massachusetts. "Since I signed that bill, we used to have 460,000 who didn’t have health insurance. It’s now down by 300,000 — 300,000 people that didn’t have insurance do now," Romney said. "That’s families whose lives have been changed by virtue of the work we did."
A few moments later, Price told reporters she worries candidates like Romney who have a "massive" personal fortune cannot understand how the high price of gasoline and health care premiums "sucks the life" out of ordinary Americans.
"I just feel like the people that we have elected into office…they’re not voting, they’re not doing anything on behalf the regular people and I think that’s because they can’t even relate to what we’re going through," she said.
Price, who is from Winterset and is a "Weight Watchers" coach, is leaning toward supporting Romney on Caucus night as she finds no other candidate seems to be addressing her economic concerns. "The things that he’s proposing will help to lift that burden off the average American’s back, if it actually happens," Price said.
Price was most swayed with this part of Romney’s answer. "I’m not in this race because I want to get the next notch on my political career," Romney said. "I don’t have a political career. I spent my life in the private sector and I’m in the race because I think what I learned with 25 years in the private sector and then…three years in the voluntary sector working at the Olympics and then working as a governor have taught me lessons…I don’t have all the answers to all of the problems that America faces, but I know how to get ’em."
That’s what Price likes about Romney, that — in her words — "he wasn’t born and bred a politician."
Click on the audio link below to hear Price’s question and Romney’s answer.