June 27th, 2012
07:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney's biggest fan gets new ride, courtesy of campaign

Sterling, Virginia (CNN) – Generally, Mitt Romney is not considered to be the kind of politician who inspires fanatical, cult-like devotion from his supporters.

But one man – Jim Wilson – proudly bucks that trend.

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Wilson, a Virginia native usually seen wearing knee-high white socks and gripping a pipe, has become an eye-popping fixture at Romney's campaign events across the country. He drives a truck plastered with Romney signs and directs traffic outside many campaign events, lending the buttoned-down politician some of the cachet that comes with a die-hard fan base.

On Wednesday, Romney returned the favor, giving his biggest fan the keys to a white Chevy Silverado.

The shiny vehicle – decorated with noticeably less exuberance than Wilson's original truck – was a gift from Romney's campaign meant to replace the truck Wilson lost recently in a fire.

That fire was first reported by The New York Times. Wilson said he had driven that truck 62,000 miles since the Iowa caucuses earlier this year.

As he exited an event in Sterling, Virginia, Romney walked by a cluster of reporters gathered outside and laughingly handed Wilson a fire extinguisher.

"Look what I got for you!" Romney cried as the men hugged. "Just in case!"

Wilson lifted the extinguisher high in the air and shouted: "That's the trophy! We're safe at last."

The two men climbed in the truck and drove several feet before stopping to have an animated conversation not audible to those outside.

Then Wilson stopped the car, got out and quipped: "Damn thing quit!"

That wasn't all the Romney fan had to say to the captive audience of reporters and photographers watching his every move.

Speaking before his meeting with Romney, Wilson brushed off concerns about his burned truck.

"The good part is, I didn't have to wash the 30 pair of underwear that were in the burned truck," he said. "And the other part was, my golf clubs were not with me."

CNN Producer Matt Hoye contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Isn't using campaign funds for personal gifts exactly what got John Edwards in trouble?

    June 28, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. NVa Native

    One weird guy loves another weird guy, next!

    June 28, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Bwahaha

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    LOL! Your false sense of security amuses me.

    June 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. annie

    All I need is for congress to pass Obama's jobs bill so I can work and buy myself a truck.

    June 28, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. SCOTO

    "Here take this van, its one of six that Ann owns and its not getting used much since she is now driving one of her two Cadillacs."

    June 28, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Gloria

    Awww, isn't that sweet!!!??? But is it ethical??

    June 28, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Seatbelt violation

    Where are the police to give Romney a seatbelt violation? He definitely didn't strap it on before the car was started!

    June 28, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. dizzylucy

    LOL joesix.

    I don't get devoting that much time and energy to any politician, but to each their own.
    Though now I'm seriously questioning why the guy was driving around with 30 pairs of dirty underwear in his truck.

    June 28, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    @ REALLY?

    I'm not going to taunt you today because I am too happy Justice Roberts did the RIGHT thing. My advice to you though is to take an aspirin and go out and find a job so you can enjoy the ACA just like I do.
    Have a wonderful day.

    June 28, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Pander Bear

    Can you imagine the outcry from the conservatives if Obama had given one of his supporters a new truck?

    June 28, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    wow and he only gave that lady in the crowd about $60 he had in is pocket that day. What a sham.

    June 28, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Pander Bear

    Love that he gave him a GM Bailout truck. After all it was Romney's idea to save the auto industry according to him.

    June 28, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. cali girl

    This is the best news for Robmey today?
    Well, you betcha! Because he sure can't say anything about the ACA.
    Just keeping it real, huh Robmey?

    June 28, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Saboth

    This fall, if you vote for Romney, you get a secret code that can be redeemed for a free car/truck! Thanks Romney and Koch Bros!

    June 28, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. cedar rapids

    "Critical Thinking....It's kinda pathetic that even mentally disturbed liberal democrats can't just say; that was a nice act of kindness"

    oh please, you and I both know what the response would have been if Obama had one it, dont come 'holier than thou' with us.

    June 28, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Bwahaha
    Nothing "false" about it, but glad to make you smile.
    I know I haven't stopped since the Supreme Court decision was handed down.

    June 28, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. DB in AR

    Anyone notice that the completely obvious? Romney could have scored a political point or two while sticking it to the Dems if this had been a woman or a minority or and immagrant but not good ole Mitt. It was a older white male. I guess pandering to your base is about all he has left in the bags. He has given up on outreach completely.

    June 28, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Phil Thomas

    This board is proof positive people Will vote againSt thief own interest if you throw enough cash and misinformation. It's a witch hunt and the theory fox is throwing is nuts if it were credible every tv channel would follow because it would give them ratings but you vidiots keep buying the horse dung they are pitching. Read about Issa, read about this from multiple sources, see how serious they are when GOP gets involved, with google it's easy to inform your self

    June 28, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Q

    I guess when you have more than one swiss bank account..............

    June 28, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    A man his truck and his dog.

    June 28, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. racegirl1

    So this is how Willard is trying to win the election in November, his 1% are going to buy cars and gifts in exchange for favors in November.

    June 28, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. racegirl1

    Way to go Willard gift for the little guy.

    June 28, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |

    Mitt raised 3.plus million after the ACA ruling......Obumbo refused to release his data.......it's no over.....you betcha!

    On another thought.....how many Swiss bank accounts do you think, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mike Bloomberg....Mike Moore....George Clooney, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Kerry....etc. have? Oh and the private jets and Italian home....you sheep with the canned sound bites are hysterical.

    Mitt will be president Elect 2012!

    June 29, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. PresidentMitt2012

    From the, “you never hear about that from the media” file – Those “Evil, Rich People” that Democrats are always wailing about are actually – Democrats.

    In fact, the Top 3 on the list: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett & Larry Ellison are all Democrats. Together, they are worth $126 Billion Dollars.

    Obumbo is out of touch and so is his base...but for all you looters from society, I get it!

    June 29, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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