A Brief History of Mitt Romney, Total Cheapskate

The GOP hopeful likes to portray himself as a self-made man, who inherited nothing and counted every penny. Jason Horowitz visit’s Romney’s childhood homes, and discovers a boy who inherited a lot from his father—from his advantages to his ambitions to his penny-pinching:

Celebrated as the Romneys were within their rarefied enclave, their money was decidedly crisper than the old fortunes held by the top executives from Chrysler, Buick, and General Motors perched on the hilltops. And the Romneys were well aware of it.

Phillip Maxwell, who attended Vaughn Elementary with Romney, was himself the scion of a great automotive family. When the two boys were nine, Maxwell spent the weekend at the Romney’s expansive house, on Vaughn and Lahser, which The Detroit News in 1954 said inspired admiring passersby to stop and “wonder about the people who live there.” Maxwell reciprocated soon after by inviting Romney to his grandfather’s sprawling estate.

Upon seeing the house, Romney turned to his friend and said, “‘Oh gee, I’m glad your folks’ house is as big and grand as mine,’” Maxwell recalled Romney as saying. “I never forget that. What a thing to say.”