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Romney, on break from debate prep, stops for lunch at Chipotle

October 02, 2012|By Maeve Reston
  • Mitt Romney and Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), who is helping the Republican candidate practice for Wednesday's debate, place their orders at a Chipotle in Denver.
Mitt Romney and Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), who is helping the Republican… (Charles Dharapak / Associated…)

DENVER — Much of GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s Tuesday was dominated by debate prep, but he took a break for lunch this afternoon and stopped by Chipotle.

"I usually get the burrito. I think I'll go for the bowl today. That's a good idea," Romney said as he entered the restaurant. Asked whether he was ready for Wednesday’s debate,  a critical moment for his presidential bid, Romney replied, "I'm getting there.”

Romney was accompanied by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has been playing the role of President Obama in debate practice.

PHOTOS: The politics of food in the 2012 election

After ordering a burrito bowl with pork, rice, black beans, guacamole and salsa, Romney greeted and took pictures with staff and fellow diners.

As he headed to his waiting SUV, a tall man who was holding a young girl asked for a picture. As Romney approached, the little girl leaned toward him, and the nominee said, “Hi there, sweetie.”

She extended her arms  to him and he scooped her up, asking her name and her age.

"Are you 4?" he asked. The girl, named Imani, shook her head and extended two fingers and then a third to show she was 3.

"Three!" Romney replied. “You're 3. Big girl!"

Her dad, Quincy, told Imani to say "Thank you and bye-bye."

PHOTOS: Mitt Romney on the campaign trail

Romney said hello to a few other people, including a woman pushing a stroller. She asked for a picture, saying she is an undecided voter but is not going to vote for Obama.

Romney plans to spend the rest of the day preparing  for tomorrow night’s debate with Portman and his senior advisors.

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maeve.reston@latimes.com

Twitter: @MaeveReston

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