POLITICS
01/21/2012 12:53 am ET

S.C. Primary: Mitt Romney Hands Out Panera Treats

With little left to do until polls open in South Carolina on Saturday, Mitt Romney decided to cap his campaign by handing out goodies from Panera Bread to the reporters who've tracked him on the trail, reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's gift of peach cobbler to her press pool.

Enjoy the unedited pool report from the Washington Post's Philip Rucker, aka, apparently, "Ruck-man:"

Mitt and Ann Romney, Nikki and Michael Haley, and Bob and Maureen McDonnell boarded a Saab propeller plane in Charleston at sunset for a roughly 40 minute flight to Greenville. Romney aides Stuart Stevens, Rick Gorka and Garrett Jackson, as well as Haley aides, McDonnell aides and press corps were on board.

Before take off, Mitt Romney walked down the aisle with a large box of assorted pastries from Panera Bread to pass out to the passengers (including the governors and press).

What follows is a transcript of his exchanges.

"Come on, Kasie, dig in," Romney said to Kasie Hunt of the Associated Press. "Pain au chocolat. Smart move."

"Ashley?" Romney said to Ashley Parker of The New York Times.

"Can you just grab me something?" Parker asked, turning to her seatmate, Kasie Hunt, who was holding the tongs poised over the basket.

"What do you want though?" Romney asked.

"Um..." Parker said. "The popover thing?"

"The popovers?" Romney asked.

"Thank you very much," Parker said.

"Sticky bun?" Romney asked other reporters. "There you go."

"Snack time! Nothing? Just, you know, use your fingers," Romney said, struggling with the big box. "The heck with this. There you go."

"Come on, Emily, dig in here," Romney said to Emily Friedman of ABC News. "Fingers are fine. We're among friends."

"Sarah, you want one? What do you want?" Romney said to Sarah Boxer of CBS News.

"I don't know," Boxer said. "What's in there?"

"We're gonna solve problem one here by getting rid of these ridiculous things here," Romney said, handing two pairs of black plastic tongs to the flight attendant behind him.

"Rucker, come on Rucker," Romney said to Philip Rucker of The Washington Post. "Oh, he makes a good move for the cheese. Take two."

"No, no, no," Rucker said.

"Look it, there’s so much in here," Romney said. "Come in, take more. No, take more than one. Take two, take two, Ruck-man. Come on."

"Where'd you get it?" Matt Viser of The Boston Globe asked Romney, referring to the pastries box.

"We found it on the floor up there," Romney said.

"Do you want another one?" Romney asked Sara Murray of The Wall Street Journal.

"No, I'm good, but thank you," Murray said.

"Who wants some more of these?" Romney said. "Look at this. This is good stuff. This is from Panera. Very high-end."

"Pain au chocolat in there," Romney continued. "Look at the sticky buns. Those are the best."

"Hey, Rucker, there’s still some more of those cheese cake babies in here," Romney continued. "No? You only had one of these. Come on, Ashley."

"Alright," Romney said. "We've got to get seated."

During the flight, Romney stayed seated in his second-row aisle seat, next to his wife, Ann, who sat in the window seat. Stuart Stevens sat across the aisle. Romney appeared to be reading and/or working on his iPad most of the flight.

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