Republican Rivals on Sleepover at Romney's: Food, 'Fun,' No Politics

Chris Christie and Marco Rubio relax over pre-parade burgers and dogs as the 2012 nominee chaperones.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Somers Furniture on May 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, fresh off the heels of a sleepover at Mitt Romney's with Chris Christie, said the summit was "good." From a culinary point of view, it could not have been more politically correct.

"We ate hamburgers and hot dogs, then we went out for ice cream," Rubio said Saturday as he shook hands and greeted potential voters while marching behind Christie at a July Fourth parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. "It was fun."

Romney, the party's unsuccessful 2012 nominee owns a $10 million vacation home in Wolfeboro, a town along New Hampshire's Lake Winnipisaukee that bills itself as America's oldest summer resort community. It served as a B&B Saturday for an unusual kumbaya moment: A meeting of two rivals for the Republican nomination, either of whom—along with a handful of other members of the big Republican field—Romney says he could endorse.

The night before both marched in Wolfeboro's annual Fourth of July parade, Christie, Rubio, and members of their families were not just dinner guests, but spent the night at the Romney lakefront home. For the curious, Christie helpfully tweeted out a picture.

"It was great," Christie told reporters as he walked into a breakfast meeting with the Winnipesaukee Republicans. Neither hopeful would divulge details of what they discussed, and Rubio said later the topic of who would garner Romney's coveted backing never arose.

The two were the biggest draws of a parade day which locals told reporters was larger than normal. 

At the event which snakes along more than a mile of Wolfeboro's Main Street along the lakeside, Christie's camp featured 40 people adorned in navy and waving Christie 2016 signs. Clad in khaki pants and a red golf shirt, the candidate crisscrossed the narrow roadway to greet bystanders, made small talk and clutched babies.

His supporters won the sign war, with poles reaching 15 feet high and adorned with several signs. They chanted "Go, Chris, Go," along with a few spectators, and marched ahead of Rubio's smaller contingent. At one point, a gap of about 200 yards opened up as Christie proved speedier at greeting people on both sides of the street.

"We fell far behind Chris Christie—we can't let that happen again," Rubio, wearing a navy blue Polo shirt and khakis, said as he eyed the gap between his own white signs and his rival's.

At a breakfast meeting earlier with local Republican activists around the corner from the parade mustering point, Christie ran through his stump speech and kept up his attack on President Barack Obama's leadership. The second-term New Jersey governor said he's convinced the nuclear deal with Iran being negotiated by Obama's administration is a bad deal, but he said he wouldn't promise to abrogate it until it becomes clear whether its working.

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