(Evan Vucci/AP)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. –— With his running mate doing the heavy-lifting Thursday night, Mitt Romney decamped to a picturesque mountainside resort here to watch the vice presidential debate.

Romney was joined in a suite at the Grove Park Inn by top advisers Stuart Stevens and Kevin Madden and a woman labeled by the campaign as “Christine B.,” who aides said donated $15 to the campaign and won a "“Win a Bite with Mitt"” contest.

Joining the group was Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Romney’'s body man, Garrett Jackson. As the debate began, Romney was intently watching Vice President Biden’'s answer to a question on Libya.

During Biden's answer, Romney turned in the direction of Stevens and Madden and asked, "“Will Paul attack on this? “And is it one-on-one after that?”"

Asked by reporters what he thought of Biden'’s answer on Libya, Romney responded, "“I'm looking forward to the next answer."”

"“I think Paul will do great,”" he added, before reporters were ushered out of the room. A few flights down, reporters and campaign aides watched the debate from a banquet room and patio overlooking the Asheville skyline.