Car Elevators: Romney's Latest '1 Percent' Moment

Romney continues to struggle while fighting criticism that he is 'out of touch.'

ByABC News
March 28, 2012, 10:37 AM

March 28, 2012 -- intro:From car elevators and outdoor showers to expansive basements and beach-view decks, Mitt Romney's plans to renovate his $12 million beachfront villa outside of San Diego are nothing short of luxury.

But for a presidential candidate who has constantly battled the criticism that he is "out of touch" with the average American, an elevator specifically designed to lift and lower his vehicles in and out of the home's four-car garage, could make selling that "average guy" persona a tad bit tougher.

Romney's plan to renovate his La Jolla, California beach house has been known for months. But documents first discovered by Politico, which broke the story Tuesday, show that Romney also plans to add a 3,600-square-foot basement, an outdoor shower, and a car elevator.

While these luxurious plans were uncovered by reporters, many of Romney's 1-percenter-style traits have been brought to light by the candidate himself.

From touting his Nascar-owning friends to mentioning that he likes "being able to fire people" here's a look at some of Romney's comments that have made that "average American" persona a much harder sell.

quicklist: 1title: 'Great Friends' Are 'NASCAR Team Owners'text: While Romney's name will not be the one zooming around the Daytona 500 NASCAR race track tonight, his comments about having NASCAR team-owning friends were flying into inboxes and Twitter feeds everywhere.

During a tour of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress' facilities, an Associated Press reporter asked Romney whether he followed car racing.

"Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans," Romney responded, "but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."

The Democratic National Committee was quick to pounce on the comment, painting it as another example of Romney's being out of touch with everyday Americans.

"I don't know pilots, but I know people who own airlines," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse tweeted as part of a string of jokes based off Romney's comment.


quicklist: 2title: 'A Couple of Cadillacs'text: Two days before he touted his NASCAR-team-owning friends, Romney had an awkward moment at the close of a Detroit campaign rally after he told the crowd of about 1,200 that his wife "drives a couple of Cadillacs." Ann Romney's two Cadillac SRX's sell new for between $35,000 and $50,000.

"I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck," Romney told his Michigan supporters at the end of what his campaign billed as a major economic speech. "Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck so I used to have all three covered."