Romney reveals his debate card, says inheritance given away

December 22, 2011

During Rick Perry’s now infamous “oops” moment at a Republican debate last month, the Texas governor gave a panicked glance at his cue card to see if it held the name of the third agency of government he vowed to eliminate. It did not.

Today Mitt Romney told Reuters’ Steve Holland and Jim Gaines about his own debate card. Romney says he writes “Dad” on his card “just to remember a person who, if he’s able to watch, I’m sure he is.”

Romney said he also tries to remind himself not to focus his attacks in primary debates on his fellow Republicans:

“I put an O up there just to remind myself that the competition is Obama, and that the place I should be thinking about in my responses is President Obama. And my differences with him are more than the differences with people on stage.”

Romney certainly had President Obama on his mind during his interview with Reuters, where he called the president’s decision to pull out of Iraq a “signature failure.”

In a response to a question about how a wealthy candidate might connect with less wealthy voters, Romney emphasized his work with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and said that his own riches, estimated at $190 million or more, were earned rather than inherited from his father, the former CEO of American Motors Corp. and governor of Michigan.

“What I got from my parents when they passed away I gave away to charity and to my kids. And so what I’ve earned has been earned through my education, my values, living in the greatest country in the world, through some luck and through hard work,” he said.

Photo: Mitt Romney is interviewed by Reuters Americas Editor Jim Gaines (L) and White House correspondent Steve Holland on his campaign bus in Littleton, New Hampshire, December 22, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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“A life of privilege? What privilege? I gave my 190 million dollar inheritance to the Mormon Church and they’re giving it back to me in the form of campaign contributions and this sweet jet. A perfectly industrious money-laundering operation and I WOULD have earned the money, had I needed to.”

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