Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - Reporters used notes written on oranges to lure Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan into a dialogue on the running mates' respective airplanes Saturday.
The note to Romney was handwritten with a black Sharpie and rolled like a bowling ball to the front of the cabin where the Republican presidential nominee was sitting.
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“Gov. are you going to let Portman play Obama? Come chat!”
They were referring to news that he will begin rehearsing for the presidential debates next week with Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who will stand in for President Barack Obama.
The former Massachusetts governor got up from his seat to receive the orange and then sat back down to write his response: “Shh!...Don’t tell Sununu! But yes….”
Moments later, crouched in the aisle, Romney rolled the orange back to NBC’s Peter Alexander, who had worked his way closer to the candidate after reporters tried rolling the orange unsuccessfully from the back of the plane.
Romney was referring to former New Hampshire and top surrogate Gov. John Sununu, who acts as a tireless attack dog for the campaign.
The GOP presidential candidate never did come back and chat, but his response revealed a playful side to his personality the public rarely sees.
Earlier in the day, reporters covering his running mate engaged in a little orange diplomacy with Ryan on a flight from Columbus to Jacksonville.
Written on the orange to Ryan were the numbers 35-10, which happened to be the latest score of the Ohio State vs. Miami University of Ohio football game he attended earlier.
Ryan spokesman Michael Steel briefly intercepted the orange but handed it off to the Wisconsin congressman who wrote a response then rolled it back, amusing reporters, staff and his three young children who were on the plane with him.
“They were winning when I was there,” the MU grad wrote and signed it, “Paul.”