(CNN) – About eight minutes before the start of CNN’s town hall meeting Tuesday, Hillary Clinton’s motorcade pulled off to the side of the street and the former secretary of state stepped out to greet a giant orange squirrel.
"Hello, Mr. Squirrel, how are you?" she said as she walked toward him and handed him a signed copy of her book “Hard Choices.”
The squirrel mascot — who’s actually an intern with the Republican National Committee - has been following Clinton around to recent events and wears a shirt that says “Another Clinton in the White House is NUTS.”
The RNC has been a leading group in attacking Clinton's record as she considers making another presidential bid.
"I wanted you to get you a copy of my book,” Clinton said, smiling.
“I hope that you will make the hard choice and read my book," she added. "But you bring a smile to a lot of people's face."
"Thank you, Mr. Squirrel," she continued, as she shook his hand. "Thank you so much."
As bystanders cheered, she started walking back to her car and gave a big wave. "Thanks, everybody."
She got back into the car with just over six minutes to spare before the start of the event.
The squirrel's Twitter account later stated: "Thank you, @HillaryClinton! I love fiction!"