Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t just have friends who are NASCAR team owners—he has donors.
Romney, who is enduring ribbing from Democrats over remarks on befriending wealthy race team owners, has collected campaign contributions from at least four supporters with financial interests in the sport, according to an analysis from the Public Campaign Action Fund.
Other NASCAR-linked donations include $1,000 from Walter Czarnecki, the executive vice president of the parent company of Penske Racing; $500 from JD Gibbs, the president of Joe Gibbs Racing; and $250 from Andrew Murstein of Medallion Financial, which has part-ownership in Richard Petty Motorsports, records show.
Romney made the pilgrimage to Daytona on Sunday in an attempt to connect with working-class voters and portray himself as a fan of the U.S. auto industry.
One reporter asked him if he followed racing.
“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners,” Romney answered.
Romney also told a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos: “I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.”
Democrats pounced on his remarks, saying they underscored his remoteness from everyday people.