FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Mitt and Ann Romney are ending their five state bus tour in a sweet spot – their home state of Michigan – and spent part of an early morning rally gushing over the best attributes of the Wolverine State: chicken and noodles.
“Now I saw a picture this morning that was kind of embarrassing. It was me at Zehnder’s restaurant,” Romney began, referencing a local restaurant known for its fried chicken dinners. “I was 17 years old and someone was telling something very funny. My dad was laughing uproariously, but I was really, I’d lost it, was completely guffawing in this picture, and I got a chance to sign it. And it just reminded me of being out campaigning with my mom and dad.
“I have no idea what was said, but I sure remember being here in Frankenmuth, and the wonderful chicken,” said Romney, the crowd of Michiganders cheering as he spoke. “You have a lot of chicken here, oh yeah, chicken and you know, noodles. Good German food right here. What a wonderful place.”
Romney was born in Detroit and raised in the Bloomfield Hills suburb. His father, the late George Romney, served as the governor of the state from 1963 to 1969 and his mother ran an unsuccessful bid for a Senate seat in 1970. He met his wife, Ann, in the state, and summered on Mackinaw Island off of Lake Huron.
His upbringing in the state, Romney said, could make history this fall.
“I grew up in Michigan as you know, born and raised here and if I’m lucky enough to become president I’ll be the first president in American history to be born in Michigan,” Romney said. “And I won’t forget Frankenmuth, I won’t forget Michigan, I won’t forget how much I owe to this great state, to the people here. I love this state. It’s a beautiful place and it’s got terrific people.”
A Republican has not won the state of Michigan since 1988, but Romney is poised to make a go for the state, telling reporters Monday evening that he thinks he has a “real chance” in November.
Romney, when asked about the odds of Michigan going in his win column said, “I mean, who knows at this early stage. But, I think Michigan’s a state I can win.”
“If I win in Michigan, then I become the president, and that would mean a lot to me personally,” said Romney, smiling.
Romney has two more events today in the state, and will spend the day Wednesday raising money here.