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. John Merrick

    There is always a weak cow in every herd.

    June 28, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  2. Keith A. Sillsbury

    Well thats kinda odd?? If I were a repub and he were a dem, wouldn't I be screamin about some ethical electon year doners crap about now. lets see, A supporters ( who is NOT on the payroll ) personal vehicle burns up and He's bought a new one by the candidate. ???

    June 28, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Jack V

    That someone is i nspired by any politician, let alone Romney, blows my mind!

    June 28, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  4. Anonymous

    ""The good part is, I didn't have to wash the 30 pair of underwear that were in the burned truck," he said. "

    what an incredibly uncomfortable tidbit

    June 28, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  5. Anonymous

    I guess you can BUY votes

    June 28, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  6. A little sad

    Seriously not a Romney fan, but I still love that he did the right thing in this instance and got the guy a new truck.

    June 28, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  7. David Blonstien

    Glad to see Romney's finding new and creative ways of buying votes. Stay tuned for more corrupt and sleazy political pandering.

    June 28, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wilson, a Virginia native usually seen wearing knee-high white socks
    Should we ask the impertinent right-wing type of questions: Is the campaign allowed to just "gift" somebody a truck? Is he now an official campaign employee? Yada yada yada yada.
    Really, who cares?
    Robme found someone gullible and dumb enough to be a fan.
    I guess the oddity and abnormality of this event WOULD make it worth reporting, I guess.

    June 28, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Perhaps he should start giving out thorough-bred horses and free car elevators! He might get my vote...NOT! The common people for Obama/Biden 2012!

    June 28, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  10. curious

    If Rmoney is able to buy the white house with the help of those who hope to rid themselves of President Obama, he couldn't possibly win relection in 2016, aginst someone like Hilary Clinton. Those who support Rmoney would have to support him for the next eight years should he win. Sorry, Jed Bush or any other rising republican will never have a chance to run.

    June 28, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    "I'm just like you Joe...you know....a regular guy. I'll bet you $10,000 on it"

    June 28, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  12. Ancient Texan

    A compassionate candidate does a kind deed for a worker and supporter and the Dims find fault with that. The other candidate did the same thing with the stimulus funds to his union supporters...just saying.

    June 28, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  13. milke byrd

    Oblame O sure bought enough Union Votes with the Bail Outs, that have never been paid back...they did not even want to take a cut in wages,,,,no real skin in the game...

    June 28, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  14. lynn

    should be like in school when you got caught chewing gum " i hope you brought enough for everyone "

    June 28, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  15. Malory Archer

    Isn't it illegal to buy votes? Don't the tighty righties always accuse the Dems of "buying votes" with cigarettes? Maybe it's the value of the item being exchanged? Or maybe IOKIYAR?

    June 28, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. J

    So does Romney write the truck off as a campaign expense or a charitable contribution?

    June 28, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So what is Mitt Romney's economic plan for America? Well, its simple! After his prized thorough-bred horse strikes gold at the Olympics, Mitt is goanna melt that gold nugget and give every American a peace of the melting pot! Ha ha! Thanks but no thanks Mitt! Obama/biden 2012!

    June 28, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    If President Obama's campaign did the same thin,g the cons would be screaming "the union toadie is buying votes".

    June 28, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Bessy

    In the meantime, while many areas of the country are either burning down, or flooding out, Romney wants to slash most of FEMA'S funds. What a guy !

    June 28, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. mrrational

    Sounds like a hand out.

    June 28, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. Indy

    Thats a clown truck bro, you have to flip it back to Romney after the election, but keep the dirty underwear.

    June 28, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Obamajoe

    BUY votes in America ?????????

    Come on,,,,,,,,,,,we spend money and brain wash them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    we don't buy votes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    June 28, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. madmaninthemiddle

    I want an Escalade.

    June 28, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. Namryan

    You get a car! and you get a car! and you get a car.... everybody in the audience gets a car... Nice take from Oprah's playbook... nothing original once again!

    June 28, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Jon

    Is that legal? Seems fishy...

    June 28, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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