Romney wowed by history of inn owned by Portman

October 13, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, shares a laugh with Sen. Rob Portman (R) and his wife, Jane, and daughter Sally in the John Quincy Adams room of the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio's oldest hotel, which the Portmans own. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

LEBANON, Ohio — Mitt Romney had an early evening rally here, not far from Cincinnati, in which he said pretty much exactly what he said at at an earlier rally in Portsmouth. The crowd was large and responded to him warmly.

After the event, he made a brief visit to the Golden Lamb Inn, a hotel owned by Sen. Rob Portman and his family. Earlier trips to the Golden Lamb, which provided turkey dinners to the reporters on the press bus, focused on how local lore holds it to be haunted. That is required information to make sense of the following pool report, in which Portman, along with his wife, Jane, and daughter Sally gave Romney a tour of the hotel's John Quincy Adams room.

Romney: “Isn’t that something. Oh, isn’t that something. John Quincy — about the same height as his dad, looks like. [At this point, Romney seemed to be looking at a picture of the two men.] Isn’t that something. It’s wonderful.” Romney, turning to look for Portman’s wife: “Where’d Jane go? There she is. Wow, isn’t this something.”

Jane Portman: “This is great. We can’t wait to have Mitt Romney room in here.”

Portman: “We’re going to kick one Massachusetts guy out for another one.”

Romney: “Oh [inaudible] John Quincy. Isn’t that something.” At this point, one of the pool reporters  asked whether Romney was worried about ghosts.

Romney: “John Quincy’s ghost, that wouldn't be helpful, I’m afraid. But his dad, John Adams, that’s certainly one of my very favorite presidents. Quite a guy. That wonderful, wonderful book by David McCullough about this life. I’ve said this many times before, but reading that, when I turned the last page, I just welled up with tears. You feel like you’re losing a member of the family. Extraordinary man, extraordinary marriage — he and Abigail. Just a wonderful couple.” Romney, turning to the bed in the room: “John Quincy’s bed. You don’t imagine he was here. How many presidents?”

Portman: “This is 1803.”

Romney: “But how many presidents?”

Portman: “Twelve.”

Romney: “He calls it the Golden Lamb, but I think when you look at the prices you’ll determine it’s the Golden Fleece. ... Actually, it’s a modest price point — I mean this is like $130 a night? For history!”

Portman: “This is about $140, I think, $150.”

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