Romney targeted over plans for growth — of his house

August 22, 2011

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney,  who has criticized President Barack Obama for taking a nine-day vacation at a time of high unemployment, filed for permits to almost quadruple the size of his oceanfront home in La Jolla, California.

The former Massachusetts governor and his wife bought the house three years ago for $12 million. They want to knock down the one-story, 3,009-square-foot home overlooking the Pacific Ocean and replace it with an 11,062-square foot place in its stead, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Romney says he needs a bigger place to have room for his five sons, their wives and his 16 grandchildren. The Union Tribune said the plans would keep the house’s existing pool and spa.

Romney has fought a reputation as being somewhat out of touch, an impression that will not be enhanced by undertaking a massive renovation while campaigning for president. The super-rich candidate raised eyebrows earlier this month when he told a heckler in Iowa that “Corporations are people, my friend,” and a remark in June to unemployed workers in Florida that he was “also unemployed”  fell flat and was jeered by the Democrats.

Critics have seized on the project to scoff at Romney. Jess Durfee, chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, used the house project to joke about Romney’s residency. “Let’s hope he hires a contractor that provides union-equivalent wages and helps to stimulate the local economy,” Durfee told the Union Tribune. “He also could register to vote here and help out the Republicans, whose numbers are dwindling.”

The magazine Vanity Fair published a tongue-in-cheek list of things that could fit into Romney’s new house, including “the world’s largest whale,” “the top-of-the-line luxury spa at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas” and “the Memphis-area Enterprise-Rent-A-Car facility.”

Romney, at least, is likely to know how many houses he owns —  three.  He has a townhouse in the Boston area and a lakefront home in New Hampshire in addition to the La Jolla property. John McCain, who defeated Romney in the 2008 Republican nomination race, famously told a reporter that he was not sure how many homes he had. The Arizona senator owned as many as eight, according to news reports, which helped Obama’s Democrats paint the Republican as being out of touch with typical Americans and living an outrageously rich lifestyle.

McCain, of course, eventually lost the White House race to Obama.

Picture credit: REUTERS/Jim Young; REUTERS/Charlie Neibergall/Pool (Romney at Iowa debate)


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We should stone this guy for being successful! That’s not allowed. And shame on him for wanting to lead this country. What is he trying to do… make us successful, too? We don’t want that! Vote Democrat!

Posted by JoeDietz | Report as abusive

Can someone please explain to me how Mitt building a bigger house is a bad thing. Last I checked, that creates jobs. I thought we needed jobs. Who are these insane people who would esteem jealousy of another persons house a worthier pursuit than the desire to pick up a hammer and get paid to build it.

Posted by Rhino40 | Report as abusive

I hope they run this guy and Rick Perry as Co-Presidents. They could just alternate in various regions and on various topics and keep the people and the press guessing as to what they mean and what they are going to do. It wouldn’t matter what they said (or even what they did) because they could just “take it back” the next day anyway.

Posted by nieldevi | Report as abusive

Well, it might create about 20 jobs for a year or two to build it, then there will have to staff to keep it up (maids,grounds keepers,pool boys, butler,and security guards to name a few.) If this his plan for jobs, then he better start buy a hole bunch of houses. Considering there are over 1 million homeless vets on the streets in the U.S. I find this a slap in the face of the hard working people and veterans that have sacrificed so much to make this a great country. All the while, they keep wanting to cut more from you to give it to thier friends. At least he’s got a home or three to go to when the election is over. If he is elected,and they pilage yours and my social security, medicare and all the other programs that have been hard fought to get, can my grandma come live with him? seems like he’s got plenty of room.

Posted by whuppsadaisy | Report as abusive

This is not a ‘serious’ matter by any means, it is just indicative of what kind of person Romney is, a rich, upper cruster. I do not hold this against him, but it definitely does not help his case when he tries to say he is in touch with the ‘common’ person. As long as he pays all the fees and taxes that the law calls for, he can build as many houses as he wants.

Posted by USAPragmatist | Report as abusive

That’s it alright ! We have been led to believe that because someone is rich somehow they can make you rich too.
That’s what I used to think about the Republican Party. Now I realize that you’re not invited to the Party and they only make each other rich and you are left hoping. There is a reason why people become rich. It’s an obsession.

Posted by aota | Report as abusive

Once upon a time there were 2 russians, Ivan and Igor. Ivan, much to Igor’s dsimay, had a goat, and Igor did not. This was not social justice in the classless society he believed in. He tried to protest to government officials but soon became mired in paperwork. In frustration, even though it was an illegal act, he prayed one dark night that God would correct this injustice. An angel appeared and told Igor that the injustice would be corrected the next day, at which Igor jumped up excitedly and exclaimed “Thanks God, I’m so glad you are going to kill Ivan’s goat.

Posted by zotdoc | Report as abusive

Shorter Mitt Romney–“The president is out of touch with the public’s needs during these difficult economic times. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look at the plans to quadruple the size of my beach-front mansion in Southern California, before I leave for some Martha’s Vineyard fundraisers. Oh, and did you hear my joke about being unemployed?”

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

Short story, “Do as I say not as I do”.

Posted by seattlesh | Report as abusive