The 2012 presidential campaign has been a strange one so far. But things got a touch more surreal for Mitt Romney and the press corps covering him as they traveled to a fundraiser Wednesday afternoon in New Jersey.
From the pool report:
Romney arrived at Lake Terrace, the site of his fundraiser tonight, at roughly 3:35 pm, after what your pooler can only describe as a harrowing high-speed motorcade from Newark airport to Lakewood NJ. Hitting speeds of up to 90 mph at times, the motorcade made what had been scheduled as a 61-minute drive in roughly 45 minutes on a route that took us along the Jersey Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway and prompted your pooler to wonder many times if she would live to cover Romney’s remarks at the fundraiser tonight. The motorcade was escorted by unmarked police SUVs which at times flashed their lights. At one point, we passed a school bus where several little kids could been seen standing on their seats to get a glimpse of the motorcade.
Upon arrival in Lakewood, some unusual things happened. First, the motorcade passed a man dressed in American flag shorts running down the street toward the venue here while waving an American flag. “Whooooo!” he exclaimed, as your pooler’s van passed. Then, as we turned into Lake Terrace, the motorcade drove past an Orthodox Jewish wedding party that had been posing for pictures outside. Immediately, the family abandoned the bride and groom and began chasing Romney’s car in the parking lot, waving cameras. The candidate’s SUV drove around a corner to a back entrance, followed by at least 10 members of the wedding party who tried to run up to Romney’s car by were halted first, by a wood fence, which one man tried to scale, and then by Secret Service agents, who did not look pleased. “Oh you’re Secret Service,” one woman said, as she was asked by an agent to move back. “We just want to see Romney.”
Romney spokesman Rick Gorka, who took a brief hiatus from the campaign after he told reporters covering Romney in Poland to “shove it,” relayed that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee would pose for photos with the wedding party. Sadly, however, those photos won’t be made public by the campaign.