Romney tells 'humorous' story about his dad closing a Michigan auto factory

Mitt Romney gave Democrats more attack ad fodder on Wednesday when he told a "humorous" story about his father closing down a factory in Michigan.

The story, as relayed by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, came about as Romney touted his connections to Wisconsin, which will hold its primary on April 3.


"One of the most humorous I think relates to my father," Romney said on a conference call with Wisconsin supporters on Wednesday. "You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors. …  They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan, and so 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 then said his dad later marched in a parade with a school marching band that only knew the University of Wisconsin fight song, not the University of Michigan's.

"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.

Democrats — and some of Romney's primary opponents — have tried to paint the former Massachusetts governor as wealthy and out of touch. Romney has helped them with a series of gaffes that, especially when his words are taken out of context, could hurt him. For example, Romney's previously said that he "wasn't concerned about the very poor" and that he "like[s] being able to fire people."