Politics

Romney Has Friends Who Own NASCAR Teams

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney attends the driver's meeting prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Mitt Romney went to the Daytona 500 NASCAR race Sunday for what should have been a chance to show he’s one of the guys. Instead, in casual conversation with an Associated Press reporter at the Florida track, he reminded people once again that he is not exactly a regular Joe.

Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

Democrats and liberals quickly ridiculed the remark on Twitter. “I don’t know people who fish but I know people who own yachts,” tweeted Brad Woodhouse, communications director of the Democratic National Committee. Ari Melber, a writer for the liberal Nation magazine who apparently was watching the Oscars, tweeted: “Do I like movies? Well I have some friends who own movie companies.”

It was the second time in three days that Romney, a former CEO and former Massachusetts governor who is worth up to $250 million, stepped on his message with an offhand remark that backfired. After giving an economic speech at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, he ignited a media eruption by mentioning at least four cars he owns and saying his wife Ann drives “a couple of Cadillacs.”

“Governor, can you understand why some voters would be put off by those things?” Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Romney on Sunday morning. “I can’t be perfect. I just am who I am,” Romney responded.

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