The pictures of presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivering a speech in a mostly empty Detroit stadium on Friday were played and replayed over the weekend as yet one more example of how his campaign may not yet be ready for prime time.
Delivering what had been billed for days as a “key speech,” Romney found himself in the cavernous home of the Detroit Lions — built to hold 65,000 people – speaking to just 1,200 people. (See photo below.)
The economic address immediately became a lightning rod for its unflattering optics and the candidate’s odd ad libs, the New York Daily News reported.
“You know, the trees are the right height, the streets are just right,” Romney said about Michigan in closing, repeating a pair of observations about the state of his birth.
The remarks were met by puzzled murmurs in the otherwise silent Ford Field, which featured large swaths of empty seats. The Daily News and others speculated that this speech was designed to broadcast the message of a native son’s triumphant return.
Romney, who has opened a six-point lead over Rick Santorum in a new Rasmussen Reports poll, spent the bulk of his speech reciting his economic plans — but fumbled as he tried to show love for the American auto industry.
“I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck,” said Romney, adding his wife “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs.” The boast was slammed as a pander to the auto industry, and reminded voters the multimillionaire Romney is the wealthiest candidate in the White House race.
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