Romney Fan of Snooki Gets Personal in Bid to Show Lighter Side

Mitt Romney indulges in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, though he doesn’t really consider the treats junk food.

He hates how his wife, Ann, squeezes toothpaste tubes (she doesn’t start from the bottom). And he likes Nicole Polizzi, better known as Snooki on the reality show “Jersey Shore.”

“I’m kind of a Snooki fan,” the Republican presidential candidate told the hosts of ABC’s syndicated daytime talk show “Live! With Kelly & Michael” today. “Look how tiny’s she’s gotten. She’s lost weight. She’s energetic. Just her spark-plug personality is kind of fun.”

The interview, taped today in New York and airing Sept. 18, was the latest effort by Romney’s campaign to fend off criticism that the former Massachusetts governor and one-time private- equity executive is too stiff -- and too rich -- to understand the average voter.

“He’s got a good heart, and I don’t think people know that about him,” Ann Romney said in their joint appearance.

Other recent efforts by Romney’s campaign to humanize him included a video played at the Republican National convention last month that showed Romney goofing around with his five sons. Also at the convention in Tampa, Florida, fellow Mormons recounted how Romney, then serving as a bishop for their local church, helped them mourn the death of a child or get through other difficult times.

His campaign also has increased the number of television interviews Romney does with his wife joining him.

The couple’s interview today may have approached the boundaries of TMI -- Too Much Information.

Nighttime Attire

When show co-host Kelly Ripa asked Ann Romney what her husband wears to bed, the presidential candidate jumped in: “I think the best answer is as little as possible.”

Romney’s wife had her own embarrassing story to tell. She recalled a White House visit that ended with her stumbling into a room where then-President George W. Bush was getting a massage.

“He was covered up but I was so embarrassed that the next time I did see him I didn’t know what I was going to say to him,” Ann Romney said.

She said Bush was ready with a retort, saying: “I look pretty good, don’t I?”

Mitt Romney disclosed to co-host Michael Strahan that his “guilty pleasures” are peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk.

President Barack Obama also will be on a television talk show on Sept. 18, the same day the interview with the Romney is shown. Obama will travel to New York to make his seventh appearance -- and second as president -- on CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Lerer in New York at llerer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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