“I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.”
— Mitt Romney, Feb. 26
“Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.”
— Mitt Romney, Feb. 24
TAMPA, Aug. 30, 2012
Fellow Republicans, as I stand here tonight to accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States, I feel like a million bucks. Actually, I feel as if I am worth between 150 and about 200 some-odd million dollars. It is difficult to say with certainty because some of it is in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Luxembourg and a Swiss bank account.
It is particularly meaningful to accept your nomination in Florida, a state where so many of my friends own so many things. The Miami Dolphins. The Orlando Magic. The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Doral country club. In fact, I have great friends who own some of Florida’s finest hotels, resorts, yachts and most valuable tracts of real estate, from Palm Beach to Naples.
To reach this day, I feel as if I have lived the American Dream. I grew up on the real streets of America, in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. My father, a public servant, scrimped and saved enough of his earnings as CEO of American Motors to send me to the Cranbrook prep school, France and Harvard Business School.
From those humble beginnings, I was able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and become part of the great middle class of this country. As part of the American middle class, I have been able to buy various homes, four cars and several horses. Sure, there are government workers who make more than I do, but I am not complaining. I, like millions of Americans, have been unemployed.
To reach this stage tonight, I have crisscrossed this great land by chartered jet, from the cul-de-sacs of Greenwich, Conn., to the hills of La Jolla, Calif. Along the way, I have felt a kinship with my fellow Americans — not just those in East Hampton and Aspen, but also those in Grosse Pointe and Kenilworth. I have met unfortunate Americans, struggling to get by on less than the $374,000 I made in speaking fees — which, I can tell you, is not very much. I’m proud to say I got to where I am today without temporary little Band-Aids such as cuts in the payroll tax.
And though I am not concerned with the very poor, I have a good sense of the indignities working people face, because I have enjoyed firing a number of them myself. I have seen a checkout line at Wal-Mart. I have worn clothing from the Gap. I have stood with Americans forced to wear plastic ponchos at sporting events because they do not have big bucks. I know that terrible feeling of struggling to find a Lincoln in my wallet because it was hidden behind a Franklin.
On my path to the nomination, I survived many false and misleading attacks. My opponents accused me of quadrupling the size of my $12 million home in California, but this was a lie. I was only doubling the square footage, if you don’t count the basement and garage. There was also that woman in New Hampshire who asked me to give up some of my four houses. But I only have three — and that’s counting the little place with the guest house and boathouse on Lake Winnipesaukee.
I am accepting your nomination tonight on behalf of the millions of Americans who fear they will get the pink slip — a fear I have felt as well. I may not have struggled to make a mortgage payment, but my great friends the Marriotts run many lodging facilities. I know what it’s like to be an office worker because my colleagues and I used to be owners of Staples. I know people can have trouble sleeping at night because we had a stake in Sealy. I know how hard it can be to put food on the table, because we were owners of Domino’s Pizza. I understand American ingenuity because we owned part of Brookstone.
Corporations are people, my friends, and I’d particularly like to thank a few very special people — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse — for allowing me to survive the Newt Gingrich scare in South Carolina and the Rick Santorum scare in Michigan.
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