TAMPA, Fla. - A California woman gave a tearful account of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's support for her family and their sick infant daughter as a speaker at tonight's Republican National Convention.
Pamela Finlayson, who met Romney through the local Mormon congregation when she lived in Massachusetts more than 25 years ago, was one of several speakers tapped to share personal stories about their relationships with Romney ahead of his acceptance speech.
Finlayson told the packed hall at the Tampa Bay Times Forum of Romney visiting the hospital where her daughter, who was born premature and with serious complication, was born.
"I will never forget that when he looked down tenderly at my daughter, his eyes filled with tears, and he reached out gently and stroked her tiny back," she said. "I could tell immediately that he didn't just see a tangle of plastic and tubes. He saw our beautiful little girl, and he was clearly overcome with compassion for her."
She said the Romneys helped care for their older son as she and her husband stayed at the hospital. When her daughter died a year and a half ago, the Romneys called to offer their condolences.
The speech also included a lighter account of meeting Romney, who stopped by as leader of the local Mormon chapel to say hello and ended up helping Finlayson fold clothes that were drying in the house.
"By the time he left, not only did I feel welcome, my laundry was done," she said.