Tagg Romney got a presidential pardon this week for joking that he wanted to “take a swing” at his father’s rival.
As the Obamas and Romneys gathered on stage after the final presidential debate Monday night, Mitt Romney‘s son was seen patting Obama’s back to get his attention before saying some words to the president.
A Romney campaign official confirmed to The Associated Press that Tagg Romney was offering an apology for his impolitic quip about decking the president.
The president was then photographed leaning over to say a few words into his rival’s son’s ear, with an amused expression on his face.
Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, looked on and laughed during the exchange.
Michelle Obama, who was at her husband’s side, looked less lighthearted, although she also smiled and shook Tagg Romney’s hand.
Mitt Romney’s eldest son made the intemperate joke last week when he was asked during a local radio interview how he feels when Obama accuses his father of being “a liar.”
“Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him,” he responded with a laugh, according to a recording obtained by BuzzFeed.
“But you know you can’t do that because, well, first because there’s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because this is the nature of the process. They’re gonna try to do everything they can do to try to make my dad into someone he’s not.”
Tagg Romney, who has assumed an increasingly high-profile role in his father’s campaign, previously told the Daily News that he gets frustrated by what he sees as the “caricature” of his father drawn by the Obama campaign.
“To be perfectly honest, it’s not fun, but at the same time, you’ve got to have thick skin,” so you don’t flip out “and do something you’re going to regret later,” he told the News.
According to another Romney son, Tagg is hardly a threat to the president.
“That brother has slugged me a couple of times,” Josh Romney said on ABC’s “The View” last week, “I assure you, President Obama has nothing to worry about.”