Virginia’s former first lady had something besides politics on her mind in 2012 on the day her husband endorsed Mitt Romney for President.
Phil Cox, who ran former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) political action committee, testified in court Monday that the governor’s wife, Maureen, tried to promote the dietary supplement Anatabloc to both Mitt and Ann Romney the same day her husband endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President.
The Washington Post reported on the testimony as part of the ongoing federal corruption trial against the McDonnells.
According to the Post, Cox said the McDonnells had flown to South Carolina for the endorsement on Jan. 20, 2012. While Bob McDonnell was giving interviews to national media in a conference room, Cox said, Maureen McDonnell entered the room along with Star Scientific then-CEO Jonnie Williams.
Williams, whose company manufactured the supplement Anatabloc, has been at the center of the corruption case and allegedly lavished the McDonnells with money and gifts while the governor was in office.
Cox said Maureen McDonnell and Williams were trying to meet with the presidential candidate to talk about Anatabloc, according to the Post.
Cox shut down the attempt and got them to leave the room. Later, Cox said he overheard Maureen McDonnell making a second attempt to pitch the product — this time to Romney’s wife, Ann.
“Mrs. McDonnell was talking to Ann Romney about how Anatabloc could potentially cure MS,” Cox said, according to The Washington Post.
Cox called Ann Romney, who has multiple sclerosis, “extremely classy” for listening to Maureen McDonnell, but Cox himself was “horrified” by the conversation.
“I was horrified. I thought it was a train wreck. I thought it was improper that Maureen would try to push this product on Ann Romney, and I didn’t think it showed the governor in a great light,” Cox said.