- Associated Press - Sunday, September 16, 2012

NEW YORK — Who would Mitt Romney like to see play himself in a movie? (Gene Hackman)

What’s Mr. Romney’s guilty pleasure (peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk).

And what exactly does the Republican presidential hopeful wear to bed?

“Really? Really?” Mr. Romney said during an interview Friday on “Live! With Kelly and Michael.” “I think the best answer is as little as possible.”

Mr. Romney held hands with his wife, Ann, during a lighthearted interview that delved into topics rarely found on the Sunday talk-show circuit and gave the Republican nominee a chance to show his knowledge of pop culture. Like whether he knew much about MTV’s “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

“I’m kind of a Snooki fan,” Mr. Romney confessed. “Look how tiny she’s gotten. She’s lost weight. She’s energetic. Just her spark-plug personality is kind of fun.”

The Romneys sat down with hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan in an interview scheduled to air Tuesday that covered more typical topics — Mr. Romney’s plans for reducing unemployment and jump-starting the economy, along with his positions on gun control and health care.

Asked to name something the nation doesn’t know about the presidential candidate, Ann Romney said, “He’s got a good heart, and I don’t think people know that about him.”

But the chat took a fun-loving turn when Miss Ripa and Mr. Strahan decided the Romneys should participate in a special “Romney Rapid-Fire Round.” “If you think a political debate is tough, just buckle up,” Miss Ripa warned.

The questions got pretty personal. Asked about a “guilty pleasure,” Mr. Romney admitted to peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk, while Ann Romney confessed to enjoying doughnuts. When the questions turned to who would play Mitt in a movie, Mr. Romney said he’d like to see his “favorite actor,” Gene Hackman, in the role. Mr. Romney cited Mr. Hackman’s work in “The Birdcage,” where he plays Kevin Keeley, a conservative senator from Ohio whose daughter wants to marry the son of a gay couple. For the role of Ann Romney, the Republican suggested actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

If they could have dinner with anyone, Mr. Romney named Nelson Mandela, calling the former South African leader “a world hero.” Mrs. Romney said she would have liked to have had dinner with Mother Teresa.

Ann Romney recounted a visit to the White House a few years ago, when she accidentally opened a door to find President George W. Bush in the middle of a massage. “He was covered up, but I was so embarrassed,” Mrs. Romney said. She saw the president later in the day, and he helped defuse any awkward feelings. “He looks at me and winks, ‘I look pretty good,’” she said.

Mr. Strahan asked Mr. Romney to name his favorite football team, and the former Massachusetts governor was ready: “Sorry about that Mr. Giants,” Mr. Romney told Mr. Strahan, a former lineman for the New York Giants. “But for me, it’s the New England Patriots.”

Both Romneys prefer iPhones to Blackberries, and Mrs. Romney finds it hard to keep up with the Kardashians.

The former Massachusetts governor is a fan of ABC’s “Modern Family,” a pleasure shared by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.

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