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
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    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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    Your Comments

    • givemeliberty

      Those of you who are trying to call Romeny a coward because he served as a Mormon missionary, are showing your total ignorance about the beliefs of that denomination.  Mormans believe that missionary service is a sacrosanct duty.  Being deeply religious, Romeny served and of course, he and his wife encouraged their children to serve.   The fact that his children chose not to volunteer for military service does not mean they are not patriots.  The fact that Romney was not drafted does not mean that he is a coward.  During the Vietnam era, draftees were chosen by lottery.  My brother, like Romney, had a student deferral.  When he graduated, he registered for the draft – just like Romney.  My brother’s number was not drawn in the lottery — just like Romney.  It didn’t make my brother a coward and it didn’t make Romeny a coward, no more than the hundreds of thosands of other young men whose numbers were not drawn.  God bless those who do enlist, but don’t condemn those who don’t. 

    • Ann Hoag

      You are really nuts to say he was a draft dodger during Vietnam.  Working stiffs like my husband were drafted and served in Vietnam, but the college boys did not go.  Bill Clinton didn’t go and he is the same age as my husband.  Obama never served in the military.  Good for those who were lucky enough not to go to Vietnam.  My husband was lucky to come back alive.  It was a senseless war and did us no good to go there.  It accomplished nothing as my husband is quick to say and only served in killing our good soldiers, including one of my relatives.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mary.correll.161 Mary Correll

      When people throw stones they should name everone who was to ciowardly to be in the service.
      Clinton was another one and probaly some other republicans.  I can’t stand those who rave about one of the worst presidents we ever had, and critize others. People say Carter was the dumbest President, but there is one thing about him, he was an honest president. And that is more than I can say about Obama.

      • lemonfemale

        I always liked what GWBush said about Kerry’s service.  “Kerry saw combat.  I never did.”  Then again, politics aside, Bush has something called ‘class’.  For example, he refuses to criticize a sitting President because he was so irritated when Carter did it to him.  “I wish him the best” is all he will say of Obama.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mary.correll.161 Mary Correll

      What branch of military did Obama serve in. How about Clinton, if you are throwing stones, be honest about it.  Obama turned his back on those who had asked for help, what does this make him.

      • Wyldfyre

        And did you get your undies in a bundle when Reagan had those Marines on a Peacekeeping Mission WITH NO WEAPONS AND 200 MARINES WERE KILLED. They were like sitting ducks. Did you get all upset then? I bet not. That’s how you WHINEY REPUBLICAN PARROTS ARE.

    • Unclesam


      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.correll.161 Mary Correll

        Tell me something, when did you serve your country? If you didn’t serve this makes you a hypocrit.Doe’s it?  Mary Correll

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Katsmom-Votano/1526442165 Melissa Katsmom Votano

        He didn’t dodge the draft….he had a deferral when he was on his mission and while attending college.  When he graduated from Harvard he changed his draft status to being able to serve.  His number never came up.  That isn’t dodging the draft….

        • Wyldfyre

          Instead of signing up for the Military his Father told him to become a Missionary. Which he did. And he went to France as a Missionary. And he turned around and ENCOURAGED HE SONS TO AVOID GOING INTO THE MILITARY BY BECOMING MISSIONARIES AS WELL. It’s fine and dandy FOR OTHER FAMILIES HAVE THEIR CHILDREN GO INTO THE MILITARY but not him or his kids.

          • givemeliberty

            Serving as a missionary is a sacrosanct duty for all practicing Mormons.  The Romneys are devoted Mormons.  Of course they raised their children to serve their church.  It doesn’t make them cowards.  Their kids could have volunteered for military service, but the fact that they didn’t doesn’t make them less patriotic than you.  I didn’t serve in the military, but I have served my country in other ways.  Not everyone has the will, desire, or ability to serve in the military.  Our soldiers and military famililies understand this, so I highly doubt that YOU have served in the military yourself. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Katsmom-Votano/1526442165 Melissa Katsmom Votano

            I remember the draft…..if Mitt Romney had not registered under a “conscientious objector” status or with an education deferral, he would be living in Canada and would be considered a felon and deserter, had his number come up, a crime punishable by death because it would have occurred in wartime.  Trust me Mitt Romney was vetted more than all the past Presidential candidates combined and had he been a “draft dodger” as you keep saying we would know about it.  He would have done time unless he applied for Amnesty, which was granted for all those Viet Nam era draft dodgers.  Had that been granted we would know about it….. Amnesty that was granted by….wait for it…….Jimmy Carter.  Talk some more about draft dodging now.  And BTW if you are between the ages of 18 and 25 I sure hope you have registered for selective service……It’s the law.

      • Wyldfyre

        Unclesam: And then he teaches his 5 sons how to make sure they don’t have to go into the Military either. Great Role Model. It was fine for other families to have their children go off to war but not that man.

      • givemeliberty

        To look less ignorant, do your homework.  Romney did not dodge the draft – he had a deferral as both a student and for his mission work.  When he completed that, he changed his status, so that he could have been drafted.   Those young men who could be drafted were selected by lottery during the Vietnam era.  Romney’s number was not chosen, just like my brother’s number was not chosen.  People were not cowards — they were merely not drafted.    By the way, Romney has given more than 10 percent of his earnings to his church for most of his life.  He additionaly gives 30 percent to charity.  He believes in Americans helping others, not government bureaucrats wasting our tax dollars on their generous salaries,  top-heaving administration, and their little fiefdoms.  So much is wasted before any $$$ finally get to the constituents who need help.