Taste of the South: Mitt Romney Morphs Into Grits Lover

(Image Credit: Mary Ann Chastain/AP Photo)

JACKSON, Miss. - Is Mitt Romney really a grits-eating, y'all-saying, good ol' southern man? That's the image the Michigan-bred former Massachusetts governor has tried to portray on his two-day swing through Mississippi and Alabama, proclaiming his love of grits and testing out his twang by delving into the southern lexicon.

"The governor said I had to say it right. Mornin' y'all. Good to be with you," said Romney as he kicked off his town hall at the Mississippi Farmer's Market Friday morning with Miss. Gov Phil Bryant, who endorsed Romney Thursday evening.  "I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. I'll tell you! Delicious."

During an event in Pascagoula Thursday evening, Romney jokingly told the crowd that he feels like an "unofficial southerner" after spending so much time with his personal aide, Garrett Jackson, who is from the state.

"He is now turning me into, I don't know, an unofficial Southerner, and I'm learning to say y'all and I like grits. Things…strange things are happening to me," joked Romney.

From declaring that the trees of Michigan are "just the right height" to praising the corn of Iowa as an "amber wave of grain," Romney has a penchant for drawing on the local flavor for his stump speeches.

But Romney is not alone in his voicing his love of grits. While campaigning in 2008, President Obama declared his love of grits while in a buffet line in Indiana.

"I've been losing weight on this campaign," said Obama according to a New York Times report from the time. " I hope there are some biscuits and grits."

But while Romney is just discovering grits, he told an Alabama radio station he's partial to cold cereal in the evening.

"I try to eat some cold cereal at the end of the day," he told a Birmingham radio host, according to the Daily Caller.