Mitt Romney Talks Up Friendships With NFL Team Owners

ABC News
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters who braved the rain during a campaign stop at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Monday, March 12, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/ John David Mercer)
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ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:

Roughly two weeks after taking heat for noting during an appearance at the Daytona 500 that he has "some friends who are NASCAR team owners," Mitt Romney once again attempted to play up his everyman credentials.

But once again, it may not have been the message he wanted to send.

"I've got a lot of good friends - the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets - both owners are friends of mine," Romney said in an interview with an Alabama radio host Paul Finebaum on Monday.

Near the end of an 11-minute interview that focused on sports and politics, Finebaum asked Romney about NFL free-agent Peyton Manning.

"I'm surprised to hear that Denver's thinking about him," Romney said, adding: "Let's keep away from New England so that Tom Brady has a better shot of picking up a championship for us."

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson are publicly supporting Romney and have been raising money for the former Massachusetts governor.

Romney's comment follows a long string of remarks that critics have said makes him seen out of touch. In late February, Romney traveled to Florida to attend the Daytona 500 and was asked whether he followed NASCAR closely:

"Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans," he said, "but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners."

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