Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to bulldoze his $12 million California beachfront getaway and replace it with something almost four times as big, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
While the GOP's answer to the deficit is to slash entitlements without asking rich Americans to pay a dollar more in tax, Romney is planning a massive renovation of his 3,009-square-foot house overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The Tribune says the former Massachusetts governor wants to demolish the property in La Jolla, California and put up an 11,062-square-foot mansion, to make room for his extended family.
A Romney campaign official said the two-bedroom house had to be razed to make room for Romney's five married sons and 16 grandchildren.
"Construction will not begin until the permits have been obtained and the campaign is finished," he said.
Alexander Burns at Politico said the planned renovations proved nothing other than that Romney is a very wealthy man.
"Whether that's a turn-off for voters is another question," he wrote.
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger at The Washington Post, said the controversy over Romney's renovation plans were the "latest silly political story whirling through the mainstream media and the liberal blogosphere."
"What exactly is the problem here? Romney’s camp explains he has five married sons and 16 grandkids. I suppose it’s not easy to find a vacation spot for all of them, especially if you don’t fancy chic spots like Martha’s Vineyard," she said, referring to President Barack Obama's current holiday spot.
The Boston Globe said Romney and his wife are worth up to $264 million, although his campaign says a "more accurate range" is between $190 million and $250 million.
Romney bought the La Jolla house three years ago.
"I wanted to be where I could hear the waves," Romney told reporters at the time, according to the Tribune.