Romney's granddaughter, 8, stands by his side

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event at Van Dyck Park Sept. 13, 2012, in Fairfax, Va. AP Photo

Mitt Romney stands with his granddaughter, Mia Romney and grandson, Parker Romney during a campaign event at a pancake breakfast at Mapleside Farms on June 17, 2012 in Brunswick, Ohio.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(CBS News) Mitt Romney's granddaughter, Mia, has her own special way of showing she cares about the GOP nominee, Ann Romney says.

In an interview with CBS Greensboro affiliate WFMY, Mrs. Romney grinned while telling a story about 8-year-old Mia, one of her 18 grandchildren, who seems to sense the stress her grandfather is under.

"Last time she was with Mitt, I saw her putting her arm around him and then stroking his arm, and I thought, 'I've never seen her do that before!'" Mrs. Romney said. "And I asked her about it, and she just said, 'Oh I just wanted to let Papa know that I love him.'"

Mrs. Romney explained that Mia is "aware that her grandfather is going through some hard times and being attacked at times, and this little 8 year old wanted to protect him."

Mia is one of the four children of Matt Romney, the second eldest Romney son. Many of the Romney grandchildren have appeared on the trail at varying points, and call Ann "Mamie" and Mitt "Papa."

Ann Romney, who grew up with two brothers and raised five boys, has a unique relationship with her granddaughters. "There's a little bit more of a calmness when they're around," said her press secretary, Sarah Haley. "She loves being able to take them shopping or taking them to get their nails done."

"They just light up when their Papa comes in the room," added Haley.

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