5 Things You Didn’t Know About Mitt Romney

Four debates and countless campaign stops later, voters have learned much about their candidates' positions, policies, and personalities. Or have they?

By Caitlin O'Connell

He was a ramblin' man.

As a student at the prestigious Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield, Michigan, young Mitt was surrounded by other sons of auto industry executives. Although they cruised around in hipper cars like Pontiac GTOs and Corvettes, Romney insisted on driving a rambler, the hallmark initiative of his father's tenure as CEO of American Motors. According to former classmate Jim Bailey, for teens their age, [the rambler] "was the least cool car in the entire world."

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Commons

A car accident helped strengthen his faith.

Despite a rocky period as Mormon missionary in France—in addition to constant rejection by French locals uninterested in Mormonism, Romney was involved in a devastating car accident that nearly killed him—the presidential candidate reflects on his time abroad as a defining moment that solidified his faith. As journalists Michael Kranish and Scott Helman write in The Real Romney, "Having begun his mission with what he called thin ties to the faith, he became a stalwart believer."

Photo credit: Hyunah Jang/Boston University News Service/Flickr Commons

He's a picky eater.

One of everyone's favorite things to follow election season is what our candidates eat along the campaign trail. This election season, we've learned a few things about Romney's eating habits:
• One of his favorite foods is a peanut butter sandwich with honey
• "He likes pizza, but insists on scraping off the cheese before he even ever takes a bite. He likes fried chicken, but only when the skin has been removed. He likes Big Macs, but only after removing the middle bun. He likes Coca-Cola because.. it reminds him of polar bears, but he rarely drinks because he can't have caffeine." -from Why Fast Food Loves Mitt Romney, Mother Jones, July 2012
 • "Romney prefers to eat only the tops of muffins, the logic here being that during cooking the butter and unhealthful lipids have melted down into the case." -from Desperately Seeking Mitt, GQ, August 2012

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Commons

He's a fool for love.

As Romney's said many times on the campaign trail, his wife Ann is the love of his life. During his brief study at Stanford University, he went through extraordinary lengths to sneak back to Michigan and see Ann. Lovesick Mitt worried his parents with his erratic behavior. In one such occasion, reported in The Real Romney, "he drove nonstop from California to Michigan, showed up at Ann's home a sweaty mess, and dived fully into her pool."

Photo credit: Mientkiewicz5508/Wikimedia Commons

He's a stickler for rules.

Jodi Kantor offered a unique glimpse of Romney the campaigner New York Times story, Romney's Faith, Silent but Deep: "Mr. Romney is quick to uphold rules great and small. During primary debates, when his rivals spoke our of turn or exceeded their allotted time, he would sometimes lecture them. When supporters ask Mr. Romney to sign dollar bills or American flags, he refuses and often gives them a little lesson about why doing so is illegal."

Photo credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr Commons

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