"Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring," she said during an interview with Radio Iowa. "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."
And asked in a separate interview what she was most concerned about should her husband win the presidency, she said she worried for his emotional state.
"My biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being," she told a Nevada TV station last week. "I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness and his leadership skills . So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it."
Ann Romney has long been pivotal to the campaign's outreach to female voters, pointing out how she talks to her husband about the concerns they have amid a struggling economy. But she has been careful not to step into hot-button debates.
Last month she declined to answer a question about gay marriage from Iowa KWQC anchor David Nelson. He later asked: "Do you believe that employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control?"
Ann responded: "Again, you're asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about. This election is going to be about the economy and jobs."
On Tuesday, Ann steered clear of specific policy debates, instead offering warm testimonials to her husband.
Carole Clark, 72, was impressed.
"She's first lady material. God bless her," Clark said. In contrast to Mitt Romney, Clark added, "She's a little bit easier with the crowd."
Hunt reported from Denver.
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