On Friday evening, Mitt, Greg Whiteley’s documentary about Mitt Romney’s six years on the presidential campaign trail, premiered at Sundance, and Mitt himself — along with Ann and their five sons — showed up to walk the red carpet. Romney allowed Whiteley to film his candidacies and family under the condition that the director not release any footage until the 2012 election was over. But, in the interviews Romney gave after the screening, you get the sense that he is wondering if delaying Whiteley’s movie was a bit of a mistake. After all, as the New York Times and other outlets have noted, Mitt offers “a more personal, quirky and human side of Mr. Romney than often came through during his campaigns.”
“You know, that’s one of the great challenges, which is how do you communicate who you are in a campaign when you are not known or defined by the public, and when your opposition has as their goal to define you in the most unfavorable light? I don’t have a great answer to that,” Romney told the Times. “You run 30-second ads, and I don’t know how you could take an hour-and-a-half film and do 30-second clips and have people think it’s genuine or real. I would love to say to all Americans: ‘Each candidate is going to produce a film of an hour and a half. You’re going to watch one from each candidate, and then you’re going to vote!’” He said almost the exact same thing to the Washington Post.
In fact, Tagg Romney said that he and others suggested that Whiteley put out Mitt during the 2012 campaign, but that idea was shot down by some “people on the team.” It seems unlikely that Americans would have become more confident about voting for Romney after watching him try to iron a tuxedo while wearing it, but we’ll never know for sure.