Ben Zimmer points me to this passage in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech tonight:
Those weren’t the easiest of days – too many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we’d give, to break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom and dad knows the answer to that. (from the transcript)
In the bold-faced piece, a NomConjObj (nominative conjoined object), on which there is now a huge literature (brief account here). The structure is now widespread (especially in speech, but not only there), including among educated speakers: I have quotes from Barbara Boxer, Sonia Sotomayor, Prince Andrew of Great Britain etc., Ellen DeGeneres, Geoff Nuttall of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and a huge number of linguists and other academics and professionals. In fact, some scholars of pronoun usage treat NomConjObjs as now the norm.
Still, many usageasters are appalled by them; see Bryan Garner‘s tweet about Romney’s usage above:
“if you asked Ann and I what we’d give….” this was a scripted speech!
Bad, bad, Mitt Romney! And this isn’t his first lapse; Mark Liberman reported here on Romney’s
I like he and Callista. (about Newt Gingrich)
I’d imagine that the structure is entirely natural for Romney (and for his speechwriters as well).