Mitt Romney’s effort to make himself appear a man of the people was fudged yet again when he said in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Friday that his wife, Ann, drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” In his address at Ford Field, Romney, who was born in Detroit, said he was happy to be back in the cradle of the American auto industry. “I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck,” the candidate said. “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.” The reaction to Romney’s seemingly inadvertent boast about his stable of pricey automobiles wasn’t just a matter of media scrutiny—outside the stadium were hundreds of protesters, many of them members of the United Auto Workers, who were angered by Romney’s 2008 opposition to the auto bailout. Making the situation even more uncomfortable was that Romney gave the speech in a stadium that has 65,000 seats—to a crowd of just 1,200. The Romney campaign said the event had been moved because it was too large for the 700-person capacity ballroom, but the pictures tell 1,000 words.
'I’m Not Concerned About the Poor'
Mitt just can’t stop sounding like a heartless rich guy. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out the obvious—that if it’s bad for the middle class, it’s probably even worse for the very poor. But Romney’s clarification didn’t help him much. “We will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” he added. “My focus is on middle-income Americans.”
‘I Like Being Able to Fire People’
Earth to Mitt: when dealing with accusations of being a job-killing CEO, it’s a good idea not to brag about firing people. Alas, the former Massachusetts governor appeared to do just that when he told a group of business executives, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Now, Romney said those words in answer to a question about health care; he was trying to explain that would favor a system in which people could fire insurance companies. Still, his opponents seized the moment, and the out-of-context soundbite spread like wildfire—Rick Perry’s campaign even made a ringtone out of it. Who wouldn’t want to hear Mitt Romney’s voice on repeat every time the phone rings?
Corporations Are People, Too
Since when do corporations equal human beings? Romney did little to dispel his elitist reputation when he told a group at the Iowa state fair, “Corporations are people, my friend.” That remark didn’t sit well with the group he was speaking to, and a round of heckling quickly ensued. Romney tried to clarify with, “everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people,” but the damage was done.
Mitt’s Uncomfortable Gay Veteran Exchange
Nothing like an awkward political exchange to ruin someone’s breakfast. In December, Romney hit up a local New Hampshire diner for an endorsement event, where he sat down at the table of a Vietnam veteran. Little did Romney know that the man was there with his husband, and what followed was ended up becoming one of Romney’s most cringeworthy moments ever. “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he told the man, who countered with “It’s good to know how you feel, that you do not believe everyone is entitled to their constitutional rights.” Needless to say, the candidate’s aides hustled him out of there, but not before the New Hampshire resident hit him with a zinger: “Good luck. You’re going to need it.”
Romney’s $10K Mistake
It was the bet heard round the world. During an Iowa debate, Gov. Rick Perry accused Romney of supporting individual health-care mandates in his book. Romney denied the claims and was so sure of his stance that he was willing to put money on it. “Rick, I tell you what, ten thousand bucks? $10,000 bet? ” said Romney. Perry responded by saying, “I’m not in the betting business.” Surely Romney placed such a steep wager to show viewers how confident he was in his statement. But many thought it showed just how out of touch he was with reality. The comment immediately went viral, and odds are he won’t be placing bets in the future.
Romney: I’m Unemployed
Nothing bonds two people quite like a shared experience. Still, Romney may have taken his attempt to empathize with Americans a little too far. During a meeting with unemployed Americans in Florida, he tried to relate to the group by saying, “I’m also unemployed.” He finished his "joke" by adding, “But I have my sights on a particular job.” Unsurprisingly, some people didn’t find humor in the megamillionaire’s comments.