LEXINGTON, S.C. — Mitt Romney today made an impromptu pit stop at a barbeque joint, touring the smokehouse and poking fun at members of the press who started coughing from the overwhelming fumes in the smokehouse.
“Listen to these guys over here, gosh,” said Romney, turning around to look at the struggling media scrum.
“If any of you have a cold, this is going to straighten it up for you,” said Robin Hudson, the restaurant’s owner.
Romney asked questions about the sauce – it’s vinegar based – and whether the restaurant offered alternatives to pork – they do, pulled chicken and catfish.
“Catfish is one of our big sellers,” said Hudson to Romney, who admitted he wasn’t too interested in the dish.
“I’m not a catfish man, not a fish man so much,” said Romney. “I mean I eat it because I’m told it’s good for me.”
“Promise me you’ll just try it,” said Hudson. “[I'll] give you the taste of the South in your mouth.”
“I’ll try it, I’ll try it,” said Romney, who ended up retreating to his campaign bus with a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans and coleslaw, according to the campaign, after dropping a bag of food on the press bus.
Before exiting the smokehouse to go inside the restaurant to shake hands with supporters, Romney recalled his trip to the restaurant four years ago.
“Coming back to the scene of delicious food,” Romney laughed.
Standing by the door of the smokehouse, Romney paused to crack another joke at the expense of the press.
“I’d like to turn my friends green,” said Romney, laughing. “We’re going to smoke these guys!”
At his next event, in Irmo, Romney said he had later gone back into the smokehouse to try a sample of the catfish and had enjoyed it.