Romney doing debate prep at $3.9 million mansion
A photo exclusive to CNN shows the house in West Windsor, Vermont, where Mitt Romney is preparing for upcoming presidential debates.
September 5th, 2012
12:47 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney doing debate prep at $3.9 million mansion

West Windsor, Vermont (CNN) – Debate prep doesn't get more preppy than this.

Nestled high atop a tree-covered hillside overlooking Vermont's Green Mountains, Mitt Romney is preparing for his upcoming debates with President Obama in a sprawling mansion, assessed at $3.9 million, according to local officials.

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The driveway to the home, which is owned by Romney's former Lt. Governor Kerry Healey, is guarded by Vermont state troopers in the midst of a steady traffic flow of news crews and neighbors on horseback.

"I'd like there to be a little more excitement but there doesn't seem to be," Healey's next door neighbor, Bob French said.

Still French said it's the most action he's seen at the home in months. The Healey family uses the residence as a second home, French added.

"Only there twice a year. Sits empty otherwise," French said.

Described as a "mansion," Healey's home is 6500 square feet and "boasts six bedrooms, five full baths, two half baths, three fireplaces, five porches, and an unmarred view of the surrounding Green Mountains," according to an article in the local "Valley News" newspaper.

Kathy Atchibald, the township clerk in West Windsor, confirmed the home's assessed value to CNN. She cautioned that price tag is not unusual for the neighborhood.

"We have quite a few up there that assess high or higher," Atchibald said.

It's a zip code that also offers privacy. Shrouded by a lush grove of large trees, Healey's home is not visible from where the end of her driveway meets the public road.

Reporters in search of another view of the residence may not have much luck with another Healey neighbor who did not offer his name.

"If you were with Fox News I'd let you up there to get a picture," the neighbor said. "You found the one Republican on the street."

Despite Vermont's reputation as perhaps the most liberal state in the U.S., Romney may be on the verge of winning over at least one of Healey's neighbors.

A self-described undecided voter, Bob French said he may make up his mind as the election draws closer.

"Check back in a month," French said.

Romney's debate prep is the talk of the nearby town of Woodstock. Residents have periodically stopped reporters to ask about the GOP nominee's movements.

The Republican candidate's selection of this woodsy New England backdrop did make the front page of the "Valley News,' but not "top of the fold." That honor went to a story with the headline: "Wild Boar Strolls Into Downtown Lebanon, Snacks on Apples."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debates • Vermont
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. badmoonrising

    Who cares where he preps for the debate. This is such a nonstory. I don't like Romney but the business of hassling him for being rich is getting rediculous. Obama is rich too. But I guess that's ok because Romney's richer. Stupid!

    September 5, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you were with Fox News I'd let you up there to get a picture," the neighbor said. "You found the one Republican on the street."
    -------------------------------------------------
    I gotta admit, that got a chuckle out of me!

    September 5, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. gt

    and this means what ....oh yea...bad press...thats it ..fair and balanced...opps wrong network...not so obvious cnn....your better than that,,,

    September 5, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    This also sounds like a decent place to have a celebration party after he dominates the debates and heads into November for an easy victory. If you can't tell, I am really looking forward to the debates. Accountability is coming for Obama and I can't think of a better person to deliver it than Mitt Romney ( with Paul Ryan at his side ).

    September 5, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. AlwaysRight

    LOL! Keep trying to pull the dem convention out of the toilet by trying to deflect with pointless stories like this. Here's a clue. It's not going to work. There's a reason obama can't fill that stadium. People finally know who he is.

    September 5, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. DumbasRocks [R]s

    How stupid can Romney get? [R]s are the gift that just keeps on giving....more free campaign fodder for the [D]s. The past month has been a disaster for the [R]s.

    How stupid can modern humans be? We'll see if Mr. French passes his IQ test this Nov.

    September 5, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. DC Mike

    I'm not a Romney fan, but where do you expect him to study, in a bombed out apartment in west Baltimore?

    September 5, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    This is why the middle class will NOT vote for him.
    You just ended a dismal three days where a chair took center stage and after doing nothing bug bash the President without reeky giving your followers and those in the middle od the road anything to concrete as to shat exactlynyiu going to do yiu retreat to a $3.9 million mansion?
    Do you really think that we care about your and your non working rich wife versus the First Lady who IS from a middle class family and whose father had MS but still went to work every day in pain and using a walker or the President's mother and grandmother can compare to your lavish lifestyle?

    September 5, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Pretty country. Most folks would look at the Green Mountains and say, "You call those mountains." Most of them are just big hills that rise not much more than 3000 feet in most cases. Watch out for the moose. They're HUGE.

    September 5, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Jack

    Alexithymic Mitt is "practicing"? For what? Being human?

    September 5, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. the Situation

    Who cares where he does his debate. Hell he could prepare for his debate in Crapper 3:16. If he gets beaten in the eyes of the public in this debates it's over!

    September 5, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Independent

    A 3.4 Million dollar house that only gets used twice per year! What a waste of resources.

    September 5, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Lionel

    When is Romney going to campaign and talk to the average person. He expects the presidency to be handed to him.

    Ryan is out lying his pants off and not talking about his record in congress. This guy has spent all of his career in government since leaving school.

    I hope the American people does not elect these bozos, Romney / Ryan

    Latinos for Obama 2012

    September 5, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Pete

    Must be nice ,a second home boasting 6500 sq.ft. and its secluded location being only used twice a year.How much does a Lt.Governor of Massachusetts make,must be quite substantial having a shack as big as this and this is politics in Massachusetts,sign me up!!!And the republican neighbor letting you in if you were FOX,nice ha!!

    September 5, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. cf

    Romney doesn't even know how to not flaunt his riches. This guy simply does not understand what it is to not be rich. He can't even comprehend that there are people - families - who have to survive on mere thousands of dollars or less. When his solution to people short on money is to "borrow it from their parents," how can anyone expect him to understand the plight of the middle class family or relate to the working man?

    September 5, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Darren D. Johnson

    Gov, A man is a man! You wanted to be the new Presidat than stay at your home and u and your team work out your!

    September 5, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. David Jack Smith

    Just wondering. Which of John Kerry's multi-million dollar mansions did he prepare for his debate with George Bush in 2004?

    Was it the $12 million one on Beacon Hill, Boston?

    September 5, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Where dd the Kennedys prepare for their debates I wonder? IOKIYAD.

    September 5, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Sal Voce

    OK, SO, just WHAT does the price of the place have to do with the story? Any reason you HAD to interject your own bias by putting the price of the place in the headline?

    Have you checked how much O'Bama's wife is spending on cloths??? OH, no, there's nothing wrong with spending $5000! on a dress....You in the biased media have done NOTHING in researching O'Bama...NOTHING...

    September 5, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. IndeePendant

    Mitt going back to a place where he is really comfortable.. nice...

    September 5, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Hows that Car Elevator working out for ya ?

    September 5, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. ART

    Boy say what you want about Romney he sure does feel our pain,doesn't he?NOT

    September 5, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. michael

    3.9 million, that is Romney's cheap home.

    September 5, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Doug

    who cares how much his house is worth...

    September 5, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    3.9 million mansion being used as a second home. Those are the type of 1%ers Willard Capone is looking out for. I still don't see how Sen. Portman is going to portray the President in this prep. All of the policies he's debating against are his.

    September 5, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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