By Tony Marquis, Standard Staff
Mitt Romney spent three days in Vermont and pretty much kept to himself — spending most of his time in a friend’s West Windsor home, practicing for the presidential debates.
It wasn’t until he left for a private TV appearance in New Hampshire about halfway into his time here that anyone in Vermont saw him or spoke to him.
Gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock was one of a handful of Vermonters to speak — or even see — Romney. For about 15 minutes in a corner of LaValley Building Supply in West Lebanon, N.H., Brock had the presidential candidate’s full attention, he said.
“He said that — obviously — he was in Vermont to do his debate preparation and that he enjoyed it and found it relaxing,” Brock said. “And I invited him to come back when he had time to spend some time visiting with Vermonters.”
It wasn’t the first time the two have met. They have mutual friends in Boston. But this was the longest conversation they’ve had, Bock said.
“We talked about some of the issues in the campaign,” Brock said. “He wanted to know what the major issues were in the Vermont campaign.”
Brock told Romney the issues were jobs, the economy and taxes. Brock, a Republican, is running against Gov. Peter Shumlin this November. Brock has been a state senator since 2009 and was the state auditor from 2004-07.
Brock told Romney that Vermont’s 5 percent unemployment rate — the fifth lowest in the nation — is misleading.
“I hear that all the time, but I don’t see that in actuality,” said Brock of unemployment.