Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do himself any favors on Wednesday when he tried to relate to Wisconsin primary voters with a “humorous” story about how his father laid off thousands of auto workers in Michigan in order to consolidate production in their neighboring state.
Excerpts published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spread rapidly in the press as Democrats unleashed an orbital bombardment of press releases and Twitter memes. But now you can hear the full audio of Romney’s laugher for full context.
Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, dismissed criticism of the tale as “fake outrage.” But the candidate’s apparently hilarious childhood story (he laughs throughout his recounting) comes the same week that Politico revealed new details on the swanky mansion he plans to build after destroying the existing $12 million mansion on his La Jolla property. Among them: It has a car elevator and Romney employs his own lobbyist to get its various permits approved with local officials. Democrats are openly planning to portray Romney as an uncaring plutocrat in a general election campaign, and the latest incident “[adds] to his list of completely out-of-touch moments,” according to Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.