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. Susie TX

    The epitome of the conservative republican male.

    June 27, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. montag

    What's Wilson smoking in his pipe?

    June 27, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. DJH

    So what....who cares....

    June 27, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. Smeagel4T

    Vote for Kaiser Romney, get a free pickup truck!

    June 27, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. B

    This was so staged for a great photo op and to make Romney look good.

    June 27, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. timinal

    A Ford, American made and Bailout free, would have been the better choice IMO

    June 27, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. L. R. Long

    He's gonna have to buy a lot of trucks to get a majority this November. Good thing he's got money in the Caymen Islands...

    June 27, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. joesix

    At least he didn't make the guy ride on top of the car.

    June 27, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Are you kidding me?

    The Willard campaign cannot complain about Obama supporters attending fundraisers or receiving contest prizes.

    June 27, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Wonder if Romney got him a tax-exempt status on that gift. Of course this is the kind of person who would love Romney. All he has to do is play golf all day. The rest of us have to feed our family.

    June 27, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. carly

    This says it all about Romney. Will he buy off every American to vote for him by giving them cars, boats, airplanes? How completely out of touch is this clown????

    June 27, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Slightly Left of Center

    Some people's votes CAN be bought!!! Doesn't he have to pay taxes on that truck?

    June 27, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Chris

    So Romney has resorted to buying votes...

    June 27, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. Thomas

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

    Yes he sure dose , looks like he's right out of an 1980s eposode of Love Boat.
    Is Jim Wilson related to Joe Wilson the nut job who called the President a lier ?

    Mitt Romney / Lawrence Welk

    June 27, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. ge

    when romney loses the repo man will knock on his door

    June 27, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. StuckInTheMiddle

    Isn't that called "buying votes", which is illegal?

    June 27, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. T'sah From Virginia

    Too bad he is going to have to drive that truck after November when Romney loses!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    June 27, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. BBPatriot

    Only one truck? C'mon Mitt, your wife has twice as many.

    June 27, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. bbrooker88

    Yep, sounds like a Romney supporter. Knee high white socks and thirty pairs of dirty underwear in his truck.

    June 27, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. Tony

    Perhaps Romney's biggest fan can tell us where Romney stands on issues. We can't get the information from the candidate himself, so maybe his biggest fan can tell us.

    June 27, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Jon

    Is it me, or is this exchange obviously staged and painfully awkward? Romney does not inspire feelings of warmth.

    June 27, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Is that what he's willing to pay for each vote? WOW.

    But then, he DOES get aaa $70,000 tax write-off for his wife's horse - as a business expense – NOT A MEDICAL EXPENSE. Go figure. ONE HORSE!!!

    June 27, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  23. B

    What's next? Sweepstakes and promotions, contests, giveaways, special offers, and chances to enter to win prizes at Romney's campaign events across the country. Bribng America one vote at at time.

    June 27, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. texasgreenacres

    They aren't giving him the truck.Besides it's a used truck and they are loaning it to him till the election is held.He has been making a complete fool of himself and they want him to continue.Evidently they think old people follow old people?Not all old people have fell into complete IDIOT mode yet.Some can still think and decide whats best for them.

    June 27, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  25. MiamiMikey

    Yeah... Romney needs to replace this guy's car. Hopefully he reminds him that he owes the IRS a bunch of taxes for this gift!!! lol

    June 27, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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