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Another Mitt Romney clunker? 'Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually....'

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Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) In a speech in Detroit Friday, presidential contender Mitt Romney referred to his wife's multiple Cadillacs, a remark that critics say signals that he is out of touch with the economic realities of most Americans.

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He wanted people to be focusing on the merits of his one big plan for the US economy. Instead, Mitt Romney now has lots of people talking about his wife's two Cadillacs.

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.”

Plenty of Michigan voters will appreciate that he's made some personal financial commitment to General Motors, Ford, and (at one time) Chrysler.

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.

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