Tales from the Trail

Romney sons stump for their “extraordinarily cheap” father in Iowa

By Reuters Staff
January 3, 2012


Tagg Romney calls voters from New Hampshire campaign headquarters, December 29, 2011.

By Eric Johnson

Undecided Iowa voters wondering just how Mitt Romney managed to salvage the cash-strapped and fraud-wracked Olympic games in 2002 and leave it with a rainy-day fund of roughly $100 million, should ask his son, Tagg.

“My dad is extraordinarily cheap,” said Tagg, 41, who stumped for his dad at a boisterous “Rock the Caucus” event at a high school outside of Des Moines.

The elder Romney was not at the event, also attended by Not-Mitt candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, whose remarks were best received by the caucus-eligible high schoolers. The trio are competing for the top three spots in tonight’s voting contest.

Also there was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is skating on thin ice after several setbacks and limited resources.

The clean-cut Romney sons, Josh and Tagg, bragged about dad’s business acumen and how the former Republican governor expertly managed the blue state of Massachusetts.

Tagg said that the Romneys lived on a loud street. His father didn’t like the noise generated by the thrumming traffic, so he solicited contractor bids to complete a noise-blocking fence.

But Romney thought the bids came in too high, Tagg said. And Romney, 64, whose net worth has been estimated at roughly $250 million, decided the family could tackle the construction project alone.

Tagg explained how the family cut wood and dug holes–even Romney’s wife, Ann, mixed cement.

What Romney estimated would take one Saturday to complete, ended up taking six.

Tagg touted their father’s unwavering work ethic and said his aim was not just to build a fence, but also to show his five sons the value of hard work. Tagg said his dad will bring that work ethic to Washington, D.C.

Some voters believe the former venture capitalist is kept out of step with ordinary Americans by his wealth and behavior — for example, his offering a $10,000 bet to Texas Governor Rick Perry during a recent debate.

Photo credit: Ros Krasny

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