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Romney staff pranks candidate for April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day Prank on the Gov

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Even presidential candidates, it seems, can be taken by an April Fools’ joke.

Today in Milwaukee Mitt Romney fell prey to a good one by his staffers, who captured the moment on camera with help from Sen. Ron John and Rep. Paul Ryan, both Wisconsin Republicans.

The prank, as re-told by Romney at a pancake breakfast here, unfolded as follows:


"Downstairs is a room just like this one, and it was all set up. They had the black material," Romney said, gesturing to the large ballroom in which his event took place Sunday morning, framed with black drapes to hide the candidate until he is introduced.

"We’re standing back there. You wonder what happens before we get started — we’re all three standing there," Romney said.

As Romney recalled, his staff said to him, “We didn’t get much of a turnout this morning. It’s really small, but it will be okay.”

Ryan was the first to emerge from behind the curtain. Romney could hear him say, “Let’s welcome Ron Johnson and Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States.”

“And so the two of us go out there and it’s completely empty,” Romney continued. “There’s nobody there. I thought, Oh, boy, this is gonna look really bad on the evening news, let me tell you.”

The video of the incident – shot by campaign staffers – shows Romney, known to be a prankster himself, turning bright red as "Born Free" blares in the empty room and he realizes he's been had.

"Oh jeez, you guys are bad," Romney can be heard saying on the camera cell phone.

To those who attended the pancake breakfast Sunday, Romney joked, “This is known as forgive but remember. I’ll tell ya. We’re gonna remember this."

At a lunch stop at Culvers in Johnson Creek, Romney Gave the prank high ratings but said he prefers playing the jokes himself.

"I think they’re much funnier when I do them on other people than when they do them on me," Romney said. "But this was very good. Very very good, this was classic."