Mitt Romney Used to Poop in a Bucket

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, DC, December 7, 2011.           AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Mitt Romney was, for a brief time, voluntarily poor. Photo: JIM WATSON/2011 AFP

Mitt Romney barely discusses his Mormon faith, so when he does, you know he has a good reason. Yesterday, that good reason was reminding voters that, over the course of his lifetime, he hasn't always been capable of making $10,000 bets on a whim. The vast majority of his life, definitely, but not all of it. In fact, for a torturous two-and-a-half year period, Romney had little money, barely showered, and sometimes pooped in a bucket. This was during Romney's service as a Mormon missionary in France, a time in which the church limited him to using just $110 from his savings each month — about $700 a month in today's dollars. That's right: blogger money. At a town hall in New Hampshire yesterday, Romney described the many un-Romneyish qualities of this experience:

"A number of the apartments I lived in when I lived there didn’t have toilets. We had instead the little pads on the ground, ok, you know how that works, all right."

"There was a chain behind you with a bucket, it was a bucket affair. I had not experienced one of those in the united states. Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators. I don’t recall any of them having a refrigerator. We shopped before every meal. Most of the apartments I lived in had no shower or bathtub, in some cases there were buildings that had showers. You go in, you pay a couple of francs, and you could get a shower. We’d do that once a week. Or if we were lucky, we actually bought a hose and we stuck it on the sink and wed hold there with the hose and the big bucket underneath us in the kitchen and wash ourselves that way."

And yet, according to contemporaneous photos, Romney somehow managed to continue looking like someone who smells fantastic.