Romney and his McDonald's bag in Colorado last week (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Speaking to supporters at a Chicago fundraiser Tuesday, Romney recognized a member of the audience who had worked at McDonald's, based in nearby Des Plaines, for 27 years—including with the chain's founder, Ray Kroc.
That prompted Romney to tell a story about his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, and what he'd found peeking through his father's "top drawer" as a teenager when he was rooting around for spare change.
"I found a little paper card, a little pink card, and it said this entitles George W. Romney to a lifetime of a hamburger, a shake and french fries at McDonald's," Romney said, according to a pool report. "It was signed by the hand of Ray Kroc. My dad had done a little training lesson or whatever for McDonald's when there was just a handful of restaurants, and I saw this thing and was like, 'This is a gold mine, dad! What are you doing?'"
Once he got over the shock, Romney said he had the card laminated for his father.
"My dad, as you know, would go almost every day to a McDonald's restaurant and get either a hamburger or a fish filet sandwich," Romney said. "And he would present this little card and of course the person behind the counter would look and say, 'Well, what is that?' They'd never seen something like that, but he said it was never turned down. They always honored it."
- Mitt Romney
- Ray Kroc