While the request drew immediate howls of protest from the Obama campaign, Mrs. Romney issued an official statement claiming that she was not trying to give her husband an unfair advantage.
But Mrs. Romney’s statement “doesn’t pass the smell test,” says University of Minnesota political science professor Davis Logsdon, who studied the Romneys’ Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and noticed Mrs. Romney “emitting a series of barely detectable signals and cues.”
“When we slowed down the video, we noticed that Ann was squeezing Mitt’s right knee with what appears to be a vise-like grip,” Dr. Logsdon says. “From what we could decipher, one squeeze signified ‘agree,’ two squeezes were ‘disagree,’ and three were ‘shut up and let me answer that one.’”
Based on Mr. Romney’s performance, in which he at times disagreed with his running mate Paul Ryan and agreed with President Obama, Dr. Logsdon believes that Mrs. Romney’s presence by her husband’s side at the debates “would be of little use.”
“Ann Romney is clearly trying very hard, but she had more success training her dressage horse,” he says.
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