Anyone imagining that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) might duke it out in the "Romney Olympics" -- Mitt Romney's highly competitive regimen of sports and outdoor games that he and his family play every summer at their New Hampshire lake house -- to win the 2012 Republican nominee's endorsement will be sorely disappointed.
Last Friday, Christie, Rubio and their families spent the night with Mitt and Ann Romney at their waterfront estate in Wolfeboro, N.H. But there was no running of the Romney Olympics, let alone much political shop talk.
Instead, the families ate a casual dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs, according to a person familiar with how the evening went. Romney, in a short-sleeved shirt, shorts and messed-up hair -- looking more like a laid-back vacationer than a suited-up pol -- took Rubio and Christie for a boat ride across Lake Winnipesaukee. The three guys got ice cream at Bailey's Bubble, a popular summertime spot in town, and posed for pictures with fellow customers.
— Adam Desiderio (@adamdesiderio) July 4, 2015
Back at the house, the Christies, Rubios and Romneys talked a lot about sports and shared laughs, but mostly avoided awkward conversation about the 2016 campaign, in which Christie and Rubio are candidates who are competing against each other to court Romney's supporters and Romney himself.
There were no reports of pillow fights or campfire songs. Everyone needed to get rest because the next morning was Wolfeboro's Fourth of July parade. The Romneys attended as spectators, waiting along the route to greet their house guests as they marched by with their campaign contingents.
"It was very social," said the person, who requested anonymity because the sleepover was a private occasion.
Very social is how this person also described Romney's lunch on Monday at Kennebunkport, Maine, with Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and another presidential candidate.
Mitt and Ann Romney traveled from Wolfeboro to Kennebunkport, about 50 miles, to visit with the Bushes at Walker's Point, the Bush family's seaside estate. They had lunch with Jeb and his wife, Columba, as well as former president George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara.
Joining them at lunch were George P. Bush, one of Jeb and Columba Bush's sons and the Texas land commissioner, and his wife, Mandy and infant son, Jack. Neil Bush, one of Jeb's brothers, and his wife came by briefly to say hello.
The two families talked about a range of topics, according to the person familiar with the gathering, including Sunday night's World Cup victory of the U.S. women's soccer team.