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Orange bowling with Mitt Romney

September 01, 2012|By Maeve Reston
  • Mitt Romney watches as an orange rolls up the aisle of his campaign plane en route to Miami, Fla.
Mitt Romney watches as an orange rolls up the aisle of his campaign plane… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

Aboard the Romney Plane — In recent days, Ann Romney has been a frequent visitor to the press cabin  at the back of the new Romney campaign plane, in one instance bearing her famed Welsh cakes. 

Her husband? Not so much.

So during the flight from Jacksonville, Fla., to Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday night, the press rolled an orange to the Republican nominee at the front of the plane. Written on it was a question about his upcoming debate prep: Was he really planning to let Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio play the role of President Obama, given his aversion to mock debates during the primary? At the end of our message, we added: “Come Chat.”

Romney did not come back to chat during the three-hour flight, but he gamely bowled back the orange with his answer: “Shh! Don’t tell Sununu! But yes…” he wrote with a black Sharpie.

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Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu is one of the Romney campaign’s most aggressive surrogates. He seems to relish his appearances on the cable news shows, particularly when he’s paired with another guest offering President Obama’s talking points. Sununu is adept at shouting out over his rival guests and often getting in the last word.

During the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week, Sununu told me and my colleague Robin Abcarian that the secret to winning those cable death matches is coming to the set armed with facts and outlasting his rivals. “I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. 

Given Sununu’s love of debating, Romney might be right. Sununu might be a bit disappointed when Portman gets to play that role this week in Vermont, where Romney will be sharpening up his debate skills at the home of former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

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maeve.reston@latimes.com

Twitter: @maevereston

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