Business Week reports Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wealth has come into question after a speech in Detroit on Friday. Romney said he owns a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet pickup. Meanwhile, he said his wife uses a "couple of Cadillacs" to drive. His comments continued a string of perceived disconnect with working American families. In early February, Romney stated he wasn't concerned about the poor because they have a "safety net" of government programs. He also said in January he'd make a $10,000 wager with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Romney's cars again brought up how much wealth Romney has. What exactly does he own?
Much of Romney's wealth comes from stocks he accumulated as part of his job as CEO of Bain Capital. He founded the company as a private equity firm. Slate.com reports Romney may be worth around $250 million based upon the stock he own and hasn't sold yet. He has donated a fair portion of stocks to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of his charitable giving.
Smart Money states most of Romney's income comes from capital gains on stocks and dividends rather than employment income. He pays a lower income tax rate and gets to keep more of his income when he sells stocks from his huge portfolio.
Romney defended his position regarding two Cadillacs, according to the Wall Street Journal. He said that one car is in Boston where the Romneys own a home. The other is in California where another home is located. Romney painted his candidacy as a success because of his own life's success story of working hard and owning a large company. His cars are a symbol of America's greatness which Romney is trying to embody.
TheStreet.com reported Romney has owned six houses in his lifetime. His childhood home in Detroit was razed in 2009 as one of 3,000 homes torn down as part of the city's renewal plan. Romney bought a mansion in Belmont, Mass., in 1989 for $890,000 and then sold it in 2009 for $3.5 million.
In 1997, Romney bought a summer home in Wolfeboro, N.H. worth an estimated $10 million on 11 acres on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. The family also owned a home in Utah that they sold in 2009 for just under $5.3 million. The smallest house Romney owns is a 2,100-square-foot home in Belmont, Mass., worth $895,000 in June 2010.
The crown jewel in the Romney parade of homes is their $12 million home along the beach in La Jolla, Calif. Vanity Fair stated the 3,000-square-foot home will be bulldozed to make room for a brand new 11,000-square-foot property to be built after the 2012 campaign is complete. A staffer with the Romney campaign said the new house was to accommodate his "five married sons and 16 grandchildren" when they come to visit, according to the New York Times.