It's an activity best associated with dingy strip malls and reality TV stars, but it also happens to be the secret to Mitt Romney's sun-kissed glow, according to BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins and Ruby Cramer. A source tells the pair that Romney has been spray tanning in private ahead of debates, speeches and interviews to project, as they put it, "an image of 65-year-old vigor." Coppins and Cramer continue:
He pays for the process out of pocket — sparing his campaign the expense, and the task of masking it on public campaign finance reports — and steers clear of public salons where he could be recognized. Instead, he gets misted down in the comfort of his own home or hotel suite.
But don't tell the Romney campaign, spokeswoman Andrea Saul flatly denies it. "Not true," she said.
Still, BuzzFeed is sticking with their sources. Their best guess is that Romney is taking advantage of mobile tanning professionals whose services can range from $200 to $500. As an example, they talk to Jennifer Lee, owner of Born to Glow in Beverly Hills. "I pop up the tent, determine how dark the client wants to go, and then I mix the formula and match it with their skin tone," she says.
All we can say is that when it comes to projecting a presidential image, spray tanning is most definitely not something you associate with the leader of the free world. Then again, this is America. Whatever the truth may be, the BuzzFeed report does help explain Romney's unusually tan glow during his Univision interview last month.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.