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Paul Sancya, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy , Mich.,Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011.

TROY, Mich. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he was saddened to drive through Detroit and see all the empty buildings.

He spoke in Troy on Thursday to hundreds of supporters at the Polish Cultural Center in Troy. The stop came a day after a GOP debate in nearby Rochester Hills.

Romney says seeing the destruction of the once-booming city of Detroit tears at his heart.

He's a clear favorite with Michigan Republicans. He grew up in Detroit, and his father George led American Motors before becoming governor in 1963.

Romney still has many family members in Michigan; a niece introduced him Thursday in front of a large "Michigan for Mitt" backdrop.

Romney's wife Ann met with supporters Thursday morning in Lansing before joining him for the Troy event.