Weese: Romney's a rat ... a water rat that is

US Repulican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Newspaper Association of America in...

US Repulican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Newspaper Association of America in Washington, April 4, 2012. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Bryn Weese, Senior Washington Correspondent

, Last Updated: 1:01 AM ET

WASHINGTON - We know about Mitt Romney the Republican presidential candidate.

And Mitt Romney the bazillionaire, the father, the Mormon and the former governor. But Mitt Romney the water rat?

You betcha.

Recently, the button-down GOP candidate dropped his bespoke suit and tie — and talking points — and joined the Mad Fisherman himself, Charlie Moore, for a day of fun on the water.

The Romney episode of Charlie Moore: No Offense, an NBC Sports television show that features celebrity interviews in the outdoors, aired Saturday.

"I've had a lot of athletes on the boat, and a lot of actors and musicians. This was a little bit different," Moore, a far more brash Bostonian than Romney, told QMI Agency recently. "I'm not trying to make any kind of political statement, but one of the things that some people knock him for is being kind of plastic or fake. On the show, I think he was just a regular guy. It was kinda cool to see him like that.”

Filmed in Massachusetts, Romney and Moore wet a few lines, joked around a bit, and even went waterskiing. Judging by the video footage, even if Romney wins the election, he won't be joining the ranks of the great angling presidents anytime soon.

But how many would-be leaders of the free world could carve up a storm doing the one-ski slalom?

Apparently, the 65-year-old is "unbelievable.”

"The dude can waterski on a single ski, and I don't even think his hair moved one iota in the water. It was amazing. That is some political hairdo right there," Moore joked. "I can say I've had Mitt Romney hanging off the back of my boat. That's definitely something not too many people can say.

"When the producers asked me if we can waterski behind my bass boat, I said, 'sure, absolutely.' Why not, right? So Mitt jumps in the water and we're all ready to go, and he yells out, 'how many times have you done this before,' and I yelled back, 'this is the first time. Just hang on' and I gunned it."

Charlie Moore: No Offense is in its second season, though Moore is a 17-year sports and media veteran. Past guests have included boxing legend Micky Ward, and Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.

For Romney, Moore said the show probably helped "humanize" the sometimes-stiff presidential candidate, who has been accused by his rivals and critics for being out of touch because of his wealth.

"He was really down to earth, and just a funny guy, and I think more people should see that side of him," Moore said. "(The show) revealed, I think, a side of him that we don't really see in public. He was joking around, and was just having a good time."

And it's a good thing for Romney that he can waterski and crack a joke, because not being able to fish or hunt — he asked comedian Jeff Foxworthy to show him "which end of the rifle to point" — won't help win over the scores of outdoorsmen and women here in the United States.

Then again, President Barack Obama doesn't hunt or fish either, and even lamented four years ago that Americans in the rust belt hit hard by the economic downturn "cling to guns … as a way to explain their frustrations."

Last week, Romney won Republican contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C. and effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination race.

He currently has 634 delegates, to Rick Santorum's 263.

The presidential election is Nov. 6, the best time of year to fish for muskies. But sorry, Mitt, it'll be too cold to waterski.

bryn.weese@sunmedia.ca


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