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Inside Politics: Ann Romney keeps quiet on disagreements with Mitt

- - Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ann Romney disagrees with her husband, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, on some issues, but she's staying tight-lipped on the details.

"I'm not going to tell you" on which matters the couple differ, she told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" during an interview at the couple's New Hampshire vacation home.

"I think we have to have a united front" on policy, she said.

Despite whatever disagreements the two may have, Mr. Romney, who later this week will formally accept the GOP's presidential nomination, said he values his wife's counsel.

"Ann is really good at seeing things in ways others don't see them, and being able to provide that openly to me. I value that very highly," he said.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Former Gov. Sanford engaged to ex-mistress

COLUMBIA — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford confirmed Sunday he is engaged to the Argentine woman he secretly left the state to visit under the cover story he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Mr. Sanford said a statement announcing his engagement provided to CNN is accurate.

"The only comment I'll stand by is that there was a statement sent to CNN and I stand by its accuracy. I don't know anything beyond that," Mr. Sanford said Sunday. "I'd love to talk but we're going to end up in no-man's land."

Mr. Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009. Reporters were told he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. But when he returned to South Carolina, the father of four admitted that he had been in Argentina with Maria Belen Chapur, whom he later called his soul mate.

"I've been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina. It began very innocently as I suspect many of these things do, in just a casual email back and forth in advice on one's life there and advice here. But here recently, over this last year, it developed into something much more than that," Mr. Sanford said in explaining the affair.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama instructs FEMA to closely monitor Isaac

The White House said President Obama told the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate closely with officials in states and localities in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Mr. Obama also told the governor of Florida that federal officials are prepared to help ensure the safety of visitors to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Mr. Obama was briefed Sunday by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center.

The White House said FEMA sent teams to Florida and Louisiana ahead of the storm to support state and local preparations. The agency is also consulting with officials in Alabama, Mississippi and other states that could be affected.

GOP officials curtailed some convention events because of the storm.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Romney rolls out ad against Medicare cuts

MANCHESTER — Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is using President Obama's words from 2008 against him in a new ad about Medicare.

The campaign on Sunday rolled out a television ad that quotes Mr. Obama in criticizing his 2008 rival for proposed cuts to the popular health plan for seniors. At the time, Mr. Obama said John McCain's Medicare plan would cut $882 billion from the program.

Mr. Obama said the plan "ain't right."

Mr. Romney has campaigned against Mr. Obama for his own cuts to Medicare to pay for Democrats' health care law.

Mr. Romney routinely reminds voters that Mr. Obama moved to cut $716 billion over a decade.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama: Armstrong one of nation's great heroes

President Obama hailed late astronaut Neil Armstrong as one of the greatest of American heroes, "not just of his time, but of all time."

The first man to walk on the moon, Armstrong died Saturday at age 82.

In a statement issued by the White House, Mr. Obama said Armstrong and the rest of the crew carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation when the Apollo 11 mission trekked to the moon in July 1969.

"They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten," Mr. Obama said.

The president said Armstrong's "spirit of discovery" lives on today in all men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown.

"That legacy will endure," Mr. Obama said, "sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."

CAMPAIGN

Romney again rips Akin's candidacy

Already facing a deficit with female voters, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney continued on Sunday to disavow the controversial "legitimate rape" comments made by Rep. W. Todd Akin, the U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri.

"I think it was a terrible statement on his part. I think it was uninformed; I think it was outrageous and offensive," Mr. Romney said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I've asked him to get out of the race," he said of Mr. Akin, who has rebuffed calls to exit the contest against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. "He was wrong. It's obviously being used by Democrats to cast a shadow on our entire party. It's sad for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level."

Mr. Romney took particular aim at recent Democratic ads tying the Republican campaign to Mr. Akin, which have included commercials attacking the fictitious "Romney/Ryan/Akin" ticket, an attempt to widen President Obama's lead among female voters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports