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Oops: Romney blanks on Chaffetz's name on stage

Published May 30, 2012 9:34 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Newly minted Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeared on stage last night in Las Vegas, rallying his supports now that he's locked up enough delegates to claim the party's nod.

The former Massachusetts governor started thanking each person standing next to him: Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki.

When he came to Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, though, Romney pulled a blank.

"I gotta skip the guy in the center here, because I'm not sure who that is," Romney said, according to a pool report from the event.

Everyone laughed, apparently, including Romney and Chaffetz, the latter of whom looked "mildly embarrassed," the pool reporter said.

A few seconds later, Romney recalled the name of the Utah congressman who has criss-crossed the country for several months helping to promote the White House hopeful.

"This is Jason Chaffetz, a congressman from Utah," Romney said. "How he got on the stage, I don't know. But he's a good friend, and he's been traveling with me, and I appreciate his being here."

UPDATE: Chaffetz said Romney was just playing with him and it was an inside joke since they had spent the entire day together and Romney clearly knew his name. "He was just having fun," Chaffetz said. "Good fun joshing."

— Thomas Burr Twitter.com/thomaswburr