convention center in Tampa, Florida that Mitt Romney is "the man America needs," according to speech excerpts released by the campaign.
The wife of the Republican flagbearer was to use the biggest speech of her life, a prime-time address during the Republican National Convention, to invite Americans into her 43-year marriage to see how the man's commitment to family, hard work and good deeds can help lead the country to a better place.
"I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family... that one great thing that unites us," she said in the excerpts.
"Tonight I want to talk to you about love."
The Romney campaign has been eager to promote the gregarious, 63-year-old Ann as a conveyer of the family story, a mission intended to humanize her husband, a former Massachusetts governor and multimillionaire businessman who is seen as too stiff and aloof in interactions with everyday voters.
And in speaking of the grit and glory of their love story, she sought to show Romney's compassion as a committed husband and father, especially when times grew tough.
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage.' Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once," she said, in reference to raising their five rambunctious sons.
"And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer."
Ann Romney has been battling multiple sclerosis since 1998, and she successfully fought early-stage breast cancer that was diagnosed in 2008.
"A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage," she said, adding that "at every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others."
She said her husband's personal character would translate into a commitment to help all US residents.
"This is the man America needs," she said. "This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair.
"This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.