Stuff Mitt Romney Likes: Big Bird, Lakes & More

At the conclusion of the third and final presidential debate, Mitt Romney reiterated—multiple times—that he loves teachers. Of course, Romney has been a bit polyamorous throughout this election. From coal to cars to Big Bird, here are a few of Mitt’s favorite things.

Summit Entertainment ; AP Photo (2) ; Getty Images

Summit Entertainment ; AP Photo (2) ; Getty Images

At the conclusion of the third and final presidential debate, Mitt Romney reiterated—multiple times—that he loves teachers. Of course, Romney has been a bit polyamorous throughout this election. From coal to cars to Big Bird, here are a few of Mitt’s favorite things.

Carlos Osorio / AP Photo


“I love our teachers,” Romney professed during the final minutes of the third presidential debate. In fact, he loves them so much, he proclaimed his adoration twice. Of course, his ode to educators came with a caveat, at the end of a monologue in which he said that he doesn’t think hiring more teachers will make any difference in strengthening the economy. “I love our teachers,” he said, “but I want to get our private sector going.” It was moderator Bob Schieffer who got the last word, though—and a hearty laugh from the audience. “I think we all love our teachers.”

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Cars (Specifically American Ones)

Romney’s been a car lover from the start. It’s no wonder then that Obama’s claim at the final presidential debate that if we had taken Romney’s advice “we’d be buying cars from China,” stung. “I’m a son of Detroit,” Romney fired back. “I like American cars, and I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry.” Not only does he like them, he knows a thing or two about them. “It used to be, in the ’50s and ’60s, if you showed me one square foot of almost any part of a car I could tell you what brand it was, the model, and so forth.” Let the record show: Mitt Romney loves cars (American ones, at least). 

Mark Lennihan, File / AP Photo

Big Bird

“I like Big Bird,” quipped Romney in his first presidential debate, and—within an instant—a meme holiday was born. The comment came during an explanation of government funding the GOP candidate would cut, including PBS, if elected president. “I’m not going to keep spending money on things,” he said, that we have to “borrow money from China to pay for.” His shout-out to the big yellow bird wasn’t enough to keep a flurry of angry PBS fans at bay. Occupy Sesame Street: Day 1.

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Santa doesn’t, Mitt does. “I like coal. I’m going to make sure we’re going to be able to burn clean coal,” Romney said in last night’s debate. Romney has received criticism in the past for using the disputed phrase “clean coal.”

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PBS Host Jim Lehrer

“I actually like you, too, Jim,” Romney said, smiling to Jim Lehrer, the host of Wednesday night’s debate. At least someone does. Lehrer received a barrage of negative reviews after Wednesday night’s debate. The 78-year-old veteran PBS anchor had come out of semiretirement to host the first presidential debate of this election.

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Green Energy

When the topic of energy came up at Wednesday night’s debate, Romney was quick to criticize President Obama’s exercise of favoritism in providing more support to green energy. “In one year, you provided $90 billion in tax breaks to the green-energy world.” But make no mistake; Romney likes green energy, too. “And I—look, I’m all in favor of green energy.”

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Great Schools

After refuting Obama’s claim earlier in the night that he would “cut education funding,” Romney went back to schools—this time making his feelings on the subject plain. “Well, first, I love great schools.” The Massachusetts governor continued by plugging his own state’s success. “Massachusetts, our schools are ranked No. 1 of all 50 states.” While he was adamant that his love of schools meant he wouldn’t be implementing cuts in education funding, a fact check of his speech found some inconsistencies in the statement.

Doane Gregory / Summit Entertainment

The 'Twilight' Series

Introduced to the series by his granddaughter, Romney told NBC’s Jamie Gangel in a May Today show interview that he not only read Stephenie Meyer’s famed series, but liked it. “I mean, I like the Twilight series. I thought it was fun."  While he admits enjoying the books, he said he wasn’t keen on watching the movies. Perhaps it was the main characters of the movie that deterred him. “I don’t like vampires personally,” he added.

Charles Sykes / AP Photo


Everyone needs a little GTL once in awhile … even Mitt Romney. In an interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael, Mitt and Ann Romney grinned their way through probing questions such as their favorite guilty pleasures. (Mitt’s is peanut-butter sandwiches and chocolate milk.) When they arrived at the most serious question (“Honey Boo Boo or Snooki?”), Mitt was surprisingly vocal. “I’m kind of a Snooki fan,” he said. “Look how tiny she’s gotten. She’s lost weight. She’s energetic. Just her spark-plug personality is kind of fun.” His answer no doubt won him some New Jersey voters.

Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

'American Idol'

Those who can’t do, watch. In the same NBC interview with Jamie Gangel, Romney brought up another TV show he enjoys. “American Idol I watched, this year it was Scotty [McCreery] winning, that was terrific,” Romney said. “That guy's got talent.”

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Funny’s his name, making jokes his game. Giving a bus interview to Wolf Blitzer during Romney’s Iowa campaign in December 2011, Ann shared breaking news: Mitt is a joker. “People don’t appreciate his sense of humor,” Ann told Blitzer. Mitt nodded in agreement, chiming in, “I live for laughter … I actually like jokes as well as things that are fun.” Anyone who still doubts his sense of humor, keep reading: “I like it all, anytime you could laugh … I used to watch Laurel & Hardy, The Three Stooges … um, even the Keystone Kops.” He doesn’t stop there, “I like old humor, I like modern humor.” Oh, and he “likes silly things.” OK, we get it, Mitt.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Music of Any Kind

In a 1994 interview with young reporter Ken Cole, Romney explains why he has decided to run for the Senate: “It’s time for a change.” When Cole asks how Romney likes the music playing behind them at the event, Romney makes a bold statement. “Well, I like music of almost any kind, including this.” The New York Times poked fun at the umbrella statement with an auto-tune of the governor, set to music by the Gregory Brothers that, well, he probably liked.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images


In an attempt to woo local voters in Pascagoula, Miss., in early March, Romney went country. Pointing out his assistant and “body man,” University of Mississippi graduate Garrett Jackson, Romney said he was being turned into an “unofficial Southerner.” Beyond learning to say the word “y’all,” he claims he has grown to love a local delicacy: “I like grits.” Hopefully, the way to a Southern voter’s heart is through the stomach.

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo


It’s—literally—the purest thing you could like, so it’s not surprising that the like-master himself is a fan. After a supporter at an Iowa State Fair told Romney that he once lived on Clear Lake near the Minnesota border, the governor thought it a perfect time to reveal something else he’s fond of. “I love water,” he said. “I like seeing the lakes. I love the Great Lakes. There’s something very special there.” Wait, so only the big ones? Nope, he likes them all: “I also like all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of Michigan.”

Mark Ralston, AFP / Getty Images

The Height of Michigan Trees  

Romney’s “the trees are the right height” comment threw some Michiganders off guard in a February press conference. Can trees be the wrong height? Maybe he said that by mistake, thought some. Mitt proved those accusations wrong less than a week later in another Michigan speech, this time an economic one, in which he mentioned his love for Michigan tree-height once again. “This feels good, being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height.” 

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo


Uncomfortable interview question? Bring up … the first thing you see. When Jon Ward approached Mitt Romney in Sarasota, Fla., this past September to ask if he would be campaigning a little harder moving forward, the pool reporter got a unique answer. “Ha ha. We’re in the stretch aren’t we?” Romney said vaguely staring into the sky, “Look at those clouds. It’s beautiful,” pointing to the sky. “Look at those things.” Clouds to the rescue.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Constitution

A list of likes wouldn’t be complete without the one thing that makes “liking” free. So at the Romney Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, in January, Romney celebrated his campaign win over Rick Santorum with empowering cheers: “I love our Constitution … I love our freedoms!” We do too, Mitt.