ASHLAND, Va. – Mitt Romney and his newly announced running mate, Paul Ryan, visited an award-winning pie shop here Saturday afternoon, where they greeted supporters and bought some desserts to go.
"Romney! Romney! Romney!" roared the crowd as the newly unveiled partners entered Homemades by Suzanne, a favorite political stop that hosted then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2008.
Romney shook hands, inquired about an infant's age – 3 months --and signed autographs. Many in the crowd heartily endorsed his selection of Ryan.
"He's a good man, a good man," Romney told a woman who congratulated him.
At the bakery counter, Romney asked, "Where do I order pie?"
He struck out with his first choices.
"Rhubarb? No. Blueberry? No."
Romney ended up with apple, pecan and chocolate pies.
Ryan, who accepted Romney’s invitation to become his running mate on Aug. 5, was asked whether it had been hard to keep the secret for a week. The Wisconsin congressman demonstrated an ability to stay on message.
“It was fine, it was fine. Beth can tell you the story," he said. (That would be Beth Myers, Romney’s aide, who headed the selection process.)
Accepting was an easy decision, Ryan said.
"It was, it was. We've got to save the country,” he said. “I'll let Beth tell the story." (Myers has agreed to brief reporters later.)
After Romney greeted more fans, he inquired about the status of his pies, then eyed the press pool, which was blocking much of the area behind the counter.
"Well c'mon, push on through there," Romney directed a woman working the counter. "Make a hole,” he directed the press, “they want to get some pies."
Ryan chimed in, tweaking the journalists: "Are they messing with their pie-making business here? You guys are getting in the way of commerce."
After Romney paid for his pies, he was asked how he settled on Ryan.
"That was a good question,” he replied. “We'll get to that one of these days, have a good chat."