MT. CLEMENS, Mich. - Mitt Romney stopped by a yet-to-be opened restaurant bearing his own name in between campaign events today, telling the owner that he hopes his name isn't a "problem" for business.
"I hope the name does not end up being a problem for you, it hasn't been for me," said Romney, shaking hands with Ken Leonard, the owner of the new restaurant The Mitt.
Romney stopped by the restaurant today after delivering a speech in Detroit and before heading to a town hall in Kalamazoo this evening. According to Leonard, a local blogger had come up with the idea of inviting Romney to stop by while he was campaigning in Michigan. Leonard did just that two weeks ago and earlier this week, the campaign confirmed the visit.
Leonard said the restaurant's name was "absolutely not" a homage to the presidential candidate.
"Absolutely not and I was very forth right with telling him - The Mitt is about Michigan and it was not named after him," said Leonard. "But the campaign just took it as an opportunity."
Michigan is often referred to as a mitt because the shape of the state resembles a mitten - or mitt.
The restaurateur added that he likes Sen. Rick Santorum as well but believes "Mitt is the stronger candidate."
Romney used his time behind the microphone to lob a few insults in Santorum's direction, referring to his GOP rival as "another guy who is kind of neck and neck" with him and again seizing on Santorum's own admission during Wednesday night's debate that he sometimes took "one for the team."
"I can tell you this, if I go to Washington the team I'm going to be fighting for is the American people, not the politicians in Washington," said Romney. "It's time to have a president who fights for you, not for himself or for his party."