(CNN) – Mitt Romney issued a warning to those in the market for a hotel room in southwestern Ohio: His friend might "fleece" you.
The Republican presidential nominee's light-hearted jab was directed at Sen. Rob Portman, who is helping Romney prepare for this month's debates by standing in as President Barack Obama. The two playfully traded words Saturday, when Portman toured the former Massachusetts governor of the historic Golden Lamb Inn, which his family owns, after a rally the GOP candidate's campaign claimed was attended by 10,700 people.
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"He calls it The Golden Lamb. But I think when you look at the prices, you'll determine it's the golden fleece," Romney quipped.
"Careful," Portman responded, with a smile.
Romney clarified, "Actually it's modest, it's a modest price point. I mean this is like $130 a night... for history!"
The moment was noted by a group of reporters who accompanied the candidate as he toured the hotel.
One of the stops was the John Quincy Adams room, which is on the inn's second floor. Adams is a native of Massachusetts, which Romney called home during graduate school, in his years in business and in his term as governor.
"We can't wait to have a Mitt Romney room," Portman's wife, Jane, told the candidate.
Senator Portman said 12 presidents have stayed at the inn, including Adams.
Some say the nearly 200-year-old building is haunted. Asked by a reporter if he is afraid of ghosts, Romney joked that Adams' spirit could come in handy on his journey towards the White House.
"John Quincy's ghost that would be helpful, I'm afraid," Romney laughed. "But his dad John Adams, that's certainly one of my very favorite presidents."
– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report
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