A newcomer in the world of politics, twenty-six-year-old Craig Romney has traded in his music-producing career for the campaign trail, as he and his four brothers try to put their father in the Oval Office.
In an event sponsored by the Yale Law Republicans on Wednesday, Craig Romney brought his father’s campaign to Yale. In an effort to gather student involvement in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Craig Romney spoke to about 35 Yale undergraduates and law students to recruit them to his father’s cause, something he has been doing at colleges and universities across the country.
When he retired from his day job as the music producer for an advertising agency this spring, Craig Romney founded “Students for Mitt,” which combines traditional campaigning with innovative methods to get younger voters involved.
“I never expected to be in this situation — it’s surreal,” Craig Romney said. “I wouldn’t be doing this unless I sincerely believed that [my father] will be a great president.”
Craig Romney spoke primarily about his father and the ways Yale students can become involved in the campaign. Mitt Romney — one of the founders of the private equity firm Bain Capital — is a man of integrity, faith, values and experience, Craig said, and has shown himself willing to sacrifice everything for others.
Craig said these qualities have repeatedly revealed themselves in events in Mitt’s past. When the daughter of one of his colleagues disappeared in New York City, for example, Mitt shut down the company and organized a massive initiative to find the girl, Craig said.
“That’s what we need in a president today,” Craig Romney said.
The Students for Mitt initiative was launched by Craig Romney and his wife Mary Romney as a way to help college students find an outlet to campaign and fundraise. The campaign gives students $100 of every $1,000 they raise.
Yale Law Republicans President Stephen Vaden LAW ’08 said he was enthusiastic about the turnout and the audience participation.
“An event with 35 people at an institution as historically liberal as Yale Law would have been unthinkable even five years ago,” Vaden said. “I was told that we wouldn’t even be able to have this kind of a turnout, but it shows that more than one side of the aisle can have the floor here successfully.”
Many of the audience members were already staunch supporters of the Romney campaign, but a few said they are still undecided about which candidate they support.
Sander Daniels ’05, who interns in the legal department of the Romney campaign, said he found the event refreshing.
“I admire Craig a lot because he’s not a professional campaigner, but he supports his dad out of a genuine admiration of his father’s campaign,” Daniels said.
The Romney family dynamic was also on display during Craig’s presentation. Craig is one of five of Mitt Romney’s sons, all of whom work for their father’s campaign.
“I had seen a news special about how the family was coming together on the campaign, and I wanted to see what the son thought about his father,” Colby Moore ’09 said.
The next two stops of Craig Romney’s college tour will be in Iowa and Missouri next week.