For several weeks now, the Mitt Romney campaign has crisscrossed Michigan in an attempt to salvage a badly-needed win in the state where Romney was born and his father served as governor. And in an attempt to overcome several embarrassing unforced errors in the last few days, Romney tried to connect with Michiganders at a tea party rally in Milford on Thursday by “remembering” an event from his childhood that took place nine months before he was born.
A reporter from the Toronto Star, which covers nearby Michigan, caught the blunder:
Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.
“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.
The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.
The National Automobile Golden Jubilee was held in June of 1946. Romney was born on March 12, 1947. Governor George Romney did in fact oversee the day’s festivities, but his son’s retelling is, at best, a patchwork tale stitched together from pieces of his father’s stories.
On Monday, the Romney campaign told the Huffington Post that Romney never explicitly said he was in attendance at the event. “He was simply telling the story about his dad,” an aide told the site.
This isn’t the first time Romney has run into trouble when trying to recall a childhood memory from Michigan. Two weeks ago his campaign ran an ad with a photograph purportedly showing Romney with his father at the Detroit auto show. As ThinkProgress noted, the photo was actually taken from a helipad at the World’s Fair in New York.