The Remainders From the Romney Weekend

By ABC News

Jun 24, 2012 8:48pm
ap romney 2012 paul ryan jt 120624 wblog The Remainders From the Romney Weekend

(Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe and Arlette Saenz report:

The Remainders…

The lavish weekend retreat hosted for Mitt Romney’s top donors in the scenic mountains of Park City, Utah, was full of standout moments and spottings of wealthy donors, GOP stars, and Romney family members.  Below is a collection of the colorful variety we witnessed throughout the weekend but couldn’t quite fit into our stories.

Romney Brothers

All five Romney brothers were on hand for the weekend. We briefly chatted with a few:

Friday, eldest son Tagg Romney said he was “feeling good” about the weekend and said all five brothers enjoyed their stint on “The Conan Show” earlier this week.

But, it was Ben Romney who liked it the most, apparently. We asked the rarely seen, second youngest Romney brother, who is a doctor in Utah, what his best moment of the weekend was as he arrived for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s speech at the Saturday night reception and he replied, “Going on Conan.”

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As he was heading to the media insight panel with Karl Rove, we spoke with Matt Romney, who said he was touched by all the donors and attendees who had come from all over the country to show support for his father, specifically mentioning a couple originally from El Salvador who now live in Miami. We also spotted Matt walking across the street to the same private dinner at the Golden Hirsch Inn that was attended by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who is often mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney.

But while Matt had a simple walk to his Saturday evening dinner, Craig Romney, dressed in a grey suit with ankle length slim pants, drove away in a silver Hybrid Prius.

Although he was there, we did not see Josh Romney over the weekend. We did spot Mitt Romney’s brother, Scott Romney, walking around the Chateaux at Silver Lake on Friday and Saturday.

Potential Veep Spottings

A number of potential vice presidential contenders were in attendance for the weekend retreat, and we were able to spot a few.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman strolled from the Chateaux at Silver Lake to the Golden Hirsch Inn Saturday evening as he was to appear as a “special guest” at one of the private donor dinners.  We chatted with him about the retreat, VP talk, and kayaking. Does he get annoyed by the constant veep chatter or does he like it? Read the chuckle.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan sped over to the retreat Saturday morning in a golf cart, waving to reporters, who were kept at a distance, as his golf cart entered the enclosed garage.   Ryan arrived at the evening reception, where former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and when Ryan left the reception, he was seen hopping into a van with donors heading to a private dinner at an undisclosed location.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was spotted arriving at the Chateaux early Friday in an SUV that ducked into the garage.

Sen. John Thune was on hand Friday and Saturday and spoke with us in the lobby Saturday morning. Thune’s wife, Kimberly, said her favorite of Friday night’s reception at Olympic Park was the performance by the ski jumpers, describing the athletic spectacle as “Wow.”  Her husband joked she was “off message” because she didn’t cite Mitt Romney’s speech as her favorite moment from the night.

Just moments before, Kimberly Thune was saved from a potential fashion mishap when a Romney staffer came to her aid using a Tide stain stick on a spot on her red and white dress.

And while we never set our eyes on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the reporters stationed on the sidewalk across the street from the Chateaux were duped many times by some Pawlenty lookalikes walking to and from the resorts.

Speeding Golf Carts

SUVs and town cars weren’t the only mode of transportation over the weekend.  Attendees hopped into golf carts that transported them between the Chateaux and the Stein Eriksen Lodge.

On Friday, Mary Matalin whizzed by, and Saturday morning, Paul Ryan arrived in a golf cart and waved at reporters.

Former Secretary of State James Baker and former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who will also head up Romney’s transition if he is elected, climbed into one together, but not before we could ask Leavitt his impressions of the panels. He said he came away with confidence that the Romney campaign has “a very impressive group of people supporting this campaign and we have a very good shot at winning.”

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Later in the day, Karl Rove, in a blue blazer, dashed out and described his own panel on “media insight” as “damn good.” A few minutes later Romney counsel Ben Ginsberg also got into a golf cart.

Saturday evening, former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey zoomed by at the close of the evening reception.

Gentlemanly Gesture

As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor left the evening reception, he walked with his wife to their SUV and walked around the car with her as she got into the backseat.  Cantor then closed the door and walked around to the other side to join her.

Dining

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was spotted having lunch outside Friday in a sunny spot at the Chateaux.

At the end of Saturday’s reception, donors climbed aboard buses and vans to head to private dinners at undisclosed locations, where they dined with “special guests.”

There were kosher alternatives at every meal for observant Jewish donors attending the retreat. They also had a minyan, a quorum of at least 10 men who pray together, on Friday night and Saturday morning, the Jewish sabbath, which was attended by 12 men and five women.

Quote of the Weekend: “I’m tired of boozing,” one wealthy New York City bundler said to us Saturday evening.  He was spotted leaving one of Saturday’ evening’s private dinners early and told us he was tired from a weekend of chatting, schmoozing and, well, drinking.  

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