Nancy French, the wife of prospective independent presidential candidate David French, served as a paid consultant to Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and ghostwrote the memoirs of Romney’s wife, Ann.
David French himself has a long history of activism on behalf of Mitt Romney.
According to reports, Bill Kristol is aiming to get National Review staff writer and Iraq war veteran David French to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as an independent candidate.
On Tuesday, Romney praised the reports of a possible French independent run. “I know David French to be an honorable, intelligent, and patriotic person. I look forward to following what he has to say,” Romney tweeted.
Writing at National Review Online last week, French urged Romney to jump into the race and detailed some of his personal ties to Romney:
“I’m the first to admit bias,” he wrote. “I know the Romneys, and my wife and I worked tirelessly to assist Mitt’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, even forming a group called ‘Evangelicals for Mitt’ to convince fellow Evangelicals that a Mormon was the right choice for the White House.”
French left out his wife’s paid work for the Romneys.
The Frenchs’ support for a Romney presidential run started as early as 2006. In March of that year, French and his wife spearheaded an effort for supporters to camp out for Romney at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis. There, Romney came in second at a straw poll of potential 2008 presidential candidates.
The AP reported on French’s efforts:
Roughly 200 Romney backers camped out at the Marriott hotel in Memphis, and some had all their expenses paid for. One of the financiers was John Kingston, general counsel of AMG Inc., of the Beverly, Mass.-based investment management firm. AMG is run by Sean Healey, the husband of Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, Romney’s most prominent ally.
“If only we could have had more time,” said David French, a Tennessee lawyer and Kingston classmate at Harvard Law School who spearheaded the effort. “I don’t know that we could have beaten Frist, but we could have done even better.”
According to the AP, Nancy French initially told the news agency that the Romney supporters paid their own way, but later changed her tune after one of the supporters reportedly told an AP reporter that their expenses were actually paid for by David and Nancy French.
The AP reported that Nancy French ran the pro-Romney Web site, www.TNforMitt.com.
Nancy French, who runs the pro-Romney Web site http://www.TNforMitt.com, initially told an Associated Press reporter all the Romney supporters paid their own way. Later, after a student attending the conference told the same reporter that French and her husband had paid travel expenses for him and four friends, French confirmed her involvement.
She said she, her husband, and Kingston had paid for supporters who could not otherwise afford the registration fee and hotel expenses. Kurt Keilhacker, a California venture capitalist and Kingston associate, said he also provided money and helped French raise it from others.
On October 21, 2007, Nancy French announced at the Frenchs’ “Evangelicals for Mitt” website that the Romney campaign hired her as a paid consultant “to work on getting Gov. Romney on the primary ballot in my home state of Tennessee.”
According to her bio, she worked as a paid consultant from October until December of 2007.
An interview with BeliefNet cross-posted by Nancy French at her pro-Romney website introduces her as a paid consultant who ghostwrote Ann Romney’s memoirs.
The 33-year-old French got close enough to the Romney campaign to be hired as a consultant … and to have ghostwritten Ann Romney’s memoirs, a project that was put on indefinite hold last week when Mitt Romney withdrew from the presidential race.
In December 2007, the New York Times reported that Nancy French “is now ghostwriting Mrs. Romney’s book.”
In September 2015, Ann Romney’s memoir was finally released. It was titled, In This Together: My Story.
Writing at National Review Online, Nancy French detailed how she came to ghostwrite Ann Romney’s memoir.
In 2007, I was in Boston playing a very small part in trying to help Mitt win the GOP primary. My husband, a constitutional attorney and captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and I had started Evangelicals for Mitt the year before  and — through a series of coincidences and opportunities — I ended up helping Ann Romney on a writing project.
In my normal life, I was a work-from-home mother of two, so life consisted of car lines, lunchboxes, and afternoon volleyball games. But during the 2008 presidential campaign, I spent time with Mitt and Ann, rode on their campaign bus, heard dozens of speeches, and saw the machinery of a modern presidential campaign from the inside. …
I headed out west, where I stayed with Mitt, Ann, Ann’s brother Rod, and his wife Cindy in the Romneys’ home. They even spent a day teaching this southerner how to ski at Deer Valley.
Nancy French said writing the pro-Romney work helped her get through her husband’s deployment to Iraq at the same time. Indeed, the title of her NRO article was “How Mitt and Ann Romney Helped Me Get Through My Husband’s Deployment.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.