September 1st, 2012
11:07 PM ET
10 years ago

Orange diplomacy in the skies

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.”

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The orange should have had the message to Ryan, "How can you sleep at night when you lie all the time?"

    September 1, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Desmond, a Canadian

    Not surprising that Ryan is being referred to as the GOP presidential candidate (see above). Rawmoney needed him as much as McCain needed Failin' Palin to give himself a boost.

    September 1, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Thomas

    That is the most important news I've seen in weeks .

    I hope Paul keeps that with him when he goes to bed , like under his pillow !

    September 1, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    This man has been a sitting member of Congress for the past 14 years, CNN. Is this the best coverage you can give to America?

    Perhaps it's just too difficult a task these days for journalists to give American voters such introspective substance as "the red dress Mitt wanted me to wear" and "the orange" Paul Ryan autographed"?

    September 1, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. bb

    Slow news day?

    September 1, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. CanadaONE

    do you notice how Romeny walks i.e. mini side strattles – I not sure he has health problems??

    but he is far fron being remotely athletic
    he most CERTAINLY would of made any Ohio team – but he likely could have bought his way on the team even if he sat on the bench

    did he buy his degree??

    September 1, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    GOP is dead in November.

    September 1, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Indy

    Is Ryan still in the VP spot ? Its hard to tell these days if Ann Romney or Paul Ryan is running as VP

    September 1, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. Larry L

    This is just more of the clown car antics. We need to see Romney's tax returns and hear hard-core specifics on his spending and cutting initiatives. No more political B.S. on what a nice guy they'd like us to consider this spoiled, fat-cat. Tell us something and let us see your tax returns!

    September 1, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  10. Donkey Party

    There is nothing human about Willard Romney. Quit trying to portray him as such, CNN, it isn't working, and you're only embarrassing yourselves by insulting our intelligence.

    September 1, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |