Mitt Romney wanted the focus to be on his plan for the economy, but mention of his wife's two Cadillacs at the speech in Detroit renewed concerns that his wealth could be a liability.
Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor
It happened Friday in Detroit, as the presidential candidate was trying to emphasize his connections to Michigan – and to American-made cars – ahead of a highly important primary vote in that state on Tuesday.
The Republican candidate mentioned the multiple cars that he and his wife drive as part of a larger nod to the state where he grew up.
“This feels good, being back in Michigan," Romney said. "You know, the trees are the right height. The streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three [Detroit carmakers] covered.”
But the comment also could rub many Americans the wrong way, a reminder that as someone with huge wealth, Romney may be out of touch with the realities and needs of ordinary Americans. At the very least, it provides fodder for critics to try to use his statement to make that impression.