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Less of a surprise: Mitt Romney appears to have a lot of rich friends.
More of one: Mitt Romney keeps talking about them at a time when he is eager to win over middle-class voters and a conservative base that has proved skeptical of wealthy politicians.
The GOP front-runner, who had casually mentioned that he is friends with several NASCAR team owners during a brief visit to the site of the Daytona 500 earlier this year, slipped his latest reference to his wealthy pals into an interview with a local sports-radio host in Alabama on Monday.
"I've got a lot of good friends—the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets—both owners are friends of mine," Romney said during a discussion about which NFL team Peyton Manning will sign with this off-season. (The Dolphins and the Jets had both been mentioned as possible destinations for the star QB.)
Here is Politico's Maggie Haberman's take:
It's not really man-of-the-people talk, on the one hand. On the other hand, it may indeed be that Romney is shucking any pretense at changing the way he talks about his life, and his wealth, and simply going with the flow. He was never going to be the voters-want-to-have-a-beer-with-him candidate, and there is no point in trying too hard, since it obscures his pitch for a businessman's resume to fix what ails the country. That said, he also obscures it with comments that are seen as out-of-touch, and that could be a problem depending on where, say, gas prices are in the fall.
It's also worth nothing that the two owners in question—the Miami Dolphins' Stephen Ross and the Jets' Woody Johnson—are both raising money for Romney, so the White House hopeful didn't exactly let the cat out of the bag with his comments.