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September 22, 2002
CONTACT: Adrian Durbin

O’Brien Campaign Says Romney Actually Drove Cool Car

In a new television ad which began airing yesterday, Mitt Romney attempts to portray himself as a kid who drove an “embarrassing” car and had to work as a night security guard to earn money so he could fly home from college to see his future wife, Ann. However, a closer look at the facts indicates a much different set of circumstances than Romney leads us to believe.

In the ad, Romney describes being embarrassed by the fact that in high school he drove an AMC Marlin, a car he says was “kinda awful.” Romney doesn’t, however, mention some important information pertinent to the AMC Marlin. First, Romney’s father, George, was the President of the American Motor Company - AMC. Second, the AMC Marlin was first introduced in 1965 - the very same year Romney graduated from high school. Therefore the car that Romney was so embarrassed about was brand new. And according to AutoWeek magazine, the AMC Marlin was a “personal luxury car,” and was advertised by AMC as “America’s first full-sized sports fastback.”

“The fact that Mitt Romney was embarrassed by his brand new car shows just how out of touch with regular working people he is - and always has been,” said Adrian Durbin, spokesman for Shannon O’Brien.

Additionally, Romney and his wife Ann state in the new ad that he worked as a night security guard at Stanford so that he could earn extra money to fly home on weekends to see her. By point of reference, the 1965 federal minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. Even if Romney was paid twice that amount, or $2.50 per hour, he would have had to work nearly 200 hours in order to earn enough money to purchase just one plane ticket (Money Magazine estimated that a 1972 flight, the most recent accurate data available, cost nearly $500). However, there are only 168 hours in a week.

“Either Mitt Romney worked as a night security guard every hour of every day, or he had some other source of income to purchase those airline tickets,” said Durbin. “Perhaps he sold the luxury car that he was so embarrassed about?”


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