Mitt Romney's Latest 'Gaffe': Telling a Dull Story

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Mitt Romney told a "humorous" story about his dad closing a Michigan factory, prompting the Obama campaign and others to declare it a wealth-related gaffe, but we're not so sure this one's going to give the Romney campaign much trouble. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Romney told Wisconsinites a story about his father, George Romney, moving a Michigan-based factory for American Motors to Wisconsin and later fearing political fallout when he ran for governor. Calling it "one of most humorous" of his connections to Wisconsin, Romney said:

... you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign

Romney said he recalled a parade in which the school band marching with his father’s campaign only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan song.

“So every time they would start playing ‘On, Wisconsin, On, Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.

Some seized on the story as another example of Romney being out of touch with voters. After all, few find it very humorous to move a factory and fire the people it employs, though Romney seemed to be chiefly entertained by the later antics of his father's campaign staff, not the mechanics of the factory relocation. Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehnstrom (who knows a little something about real Romney gaffes) wrote on Twitter "You know what's 'humorous'? Caterwauling from the Dems about Mitt's recall of a campaign story involving his dad. #fakeoutrage." 
Indeed, to us, this story doesn't feel much like it'll have the sting of some of Romney's other easily quotable comments reminding the world that he's weatlhy. From "I'm not concerned about the very poor," to "Ann has a couple of Cadillacs" there are just so many quotables. We'd put Romney finding a story about his father "humorous" very, very far down the list of most incriminating anecdotes. Besides, it's far too cumbersome to repeat (or retweet.) We'd say the chief failing here is that it's just not that funny a story. But hey, maybe Fehnstrom should take this more seriously. It could be difficult for a Republican presidential candidate to overcome the burden of having a prominent, wealthy politician for a father. Ha. We kid.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.