Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney: 'I Have Some Friends Who Are NASCAR Team Owners'

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Mitt Romney at the 2011 Daytona 500
Mitt Romney at the 2011 Daytona 500

After spending much of the week in Michigan defending his opposition to the 2008 auto bailout, Mitt Romney got acquainted with a different side of the car industry during a visit to Florida's Daytona International Speedway.

Asked Sunday if he follows racing Romney replied, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners," the AP reports.

The comments come after Romney set off a media firestorm on Friday when, following a speech on the state of the economy, he told a Detroit audience that his wife drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

Romney, who also attended the event last year, spoke with racers and fans a few hours before the Daytona 500 on Sunday, telling them the event "combines a couple of things I like best, cars and sport.''

He said his decision to leave Michigan just days before the state's February primary wasn't a sign he was confident he'd win.

"No, it's a sign of a guy who loves cars,'' he said. "And this has always been a place where American cars have shined. And a long history from Daytona being connected with Detroit, with Detroit cars, and with the spirit of America.''

Romney declined the opportunity to trash talk a car sponsored by his rival, Rick Santorum.

"I just hope they all have a good race,'' Romney said.

AP audio below:

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