Fresh off of touting that his wife drives not one, but two Cadillacs, Mitt Romney made another car-related boast that likely won’t help the GOP presidential hopeful connect with average voters. Romney headed to Florida this weekend to attend the Daytona 500, but when he was asked by an AP reporter if he follows the sport, Romney replied, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.” Listen here, via the AP:
Considering that one has to be very wealthy to own a NASCAR team, the comment has already become fodder for critics who say Romney is out of touch with regular voters. The economics of a race show how wealthy one has to be: A stock car ranges in cost in the six figures and teams have to own up to a dozen or more of them. Then there are operational costs, from new engines to a full crew. One team owner estimated that it costs him a minimum of $100,000 for his team to compete in a single race.
Meanwhile, Romney ran into more heat back in Detroit with a confectionery misfire. His campaign had provided 35 dozen doughnuts to rally-attendees and Romney mentioned how much he liked them during his speech, trying to connect with crowd, and comparing the powdered sugar on the doughnuts to snow. Unfortunately for Romney, there was no powdered sugar on the doughnuts the crowd ate, leading the Washington Post to wonder, “Had he not really eaten one of the [doughnuts], after all? Had Romney’s campaign given the naked doughnuts to the crowd, while Romney was eating upgraded, sugar-dusted ones backstage?”
The New York Times reports, via Steve Benen, that Romney was booed at the car race and made fun of the crowd’s inexpensive rain gear. “[T]he crowd initially booed Mr. Romney, who occasionally struck a discordant note, as when he approached a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos. ‘I like those fancy raincoats you bought,’ he said. ‘Really sprung for the big bucks.’”