September 12th, 2007
04:25 PM ET
7 years ago

Romney calls anti-Thompson site 'juvenile and offensive'

Romney denied anyone from his campaign was behind the anti-Thompson site.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called a now defunct Web site that attacked former Sen. Tennessee Fred Thompson "juvenile and offensive" Wednesday, and said no one from his presidential campaign was behind it.

"There's no place in politics for those kind of hijinks," Romney told the Associated Press. “The person who put it up was acting on his own. I've said I do not want to have that person in any way associated with my campaign."

Romney and Thompson are competing for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Web site in question, www.phonyfred.org, was created by Wes Donehue, an associate consultant and vice president of the firm Tompkins, Thompson, and Sullivan. A principal of the firm – Warren Tompkins – is a paid advisor to Romney’s presidential campaign.

The Washington Post was first to report the site's link to Romney's campaign and it was soon taken down. The campaign later denied it had any involvement with the site or knew of its existence.

But a spokesman for Thompson's campaign dismissed the denial late Tuesday, calling it a "half-baked cover-up attempt by the Romney campaign [that] does not even pass the laugh test."

A screen grab of the site captured by the Post before it was taken down shows a banner headline describing the Tennessee Republican as “Phony Fred.” Subcategories are titled: “Hollywood Fred”; “Washington Fred”; “Pimp Fred”; and “McCain Fred.”

– CNN's  Xuan Thai and Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Arington, VA

    As with Criag Romany sure has away of useing words to kill speculation of his culpability on hot button issues of this type. It is truly effective however and the thompson campaign response that is was "half-baked" is not taking the matter objectively and positive – romney slamed critics with his response and there was nothing half baked about it.

    September 12, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Arington, VA

    As with Craig Romany sure has away of using words to kill speculation of his culpability on hot button issues of this type. It is truly effective however and the Thompson campaign response that it was "half-baked" is not taking the matter objectively and positive – Romney slammed critics with his response and there was nothing half baked about it.

    September 12, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. richard bradbury

    Romney will have Mel Sembler as his main backer for his campaign.

    The same Mel Sembler who operated the child abusing Straight, Inc. organization all over the country.

    What does that tell you about Romney's "values"?

    September 12, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. A. Sparough Alb, NY

    it IS juvenile and offensive. and THESE guys are representing us citizens?!

    September 12, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Elvis Dingeldein - Washington, DC

    Whew, we were worried. As the editors of a political satire site called The Daily Clusterdouche, we were certain this article was about us.

    To the juvenilatron!

    September 12, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Romney didn't have to say anything.

    We already knew it was Jeri Thompson firing it up with her caustic, over-reaching, "I'm offended and a victim" dramatics. And there is nothing in Romney's comments that fit the description "blasts" that CNN uses in its headlines.

    The most hilarious part is when the obviously hypocritical Thompson takes Romney to task and says there is no place for candidates that smear and THEN proceeds to SMEAR Romney in the most offensive way. You know "say anything" BLah blah blah.

    The quality of the GOP primaries went down several notches once Jeri arrived on the scene.

    September 12, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Kyle, Big Bend, WI

    Let the Repugs pick Romney. The Democrats will have a field day with this no good flip-flopper

    September 12, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Lev Klinemann, Redondo Beach CA

    What a bunch of monkeys this group of Republicans running for white house are. Not only that I belive in evolution, but NOW I believe in de-evolution. How else can you explain these apes.

    September 12, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. S. Richard, Olathe, KS

    This was a dicey situation, and Romney hit the nail on the head. He came out swinging against the website- as he should have- but waited until 9/11 had passed so as not to upstage the events of the day. Well done.

    September 12, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Jason L., Merced, CA

    I wonder if Mitt is going to wear his magic pajamas tonight when he gets in bed with his wives.

    September 12, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. MR, Boston, MA

    That crazy Mitt! If he has to run against Obama will he accuse him of serving Satan since he's black? He loves the gays, he hates the gays. He's more liberal than Ted Kennedy and less sane than Ted Kazinsky, but further to the right than Reagan. Mitt is it!

    September 12, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Jason of Merced,

    Politics is no place to hold up someone's religion to ridicule or derision. Everyone holds their faith dear to them, and every faith has doctrines that others will find ridiculous when held up to the secular light.

    Your comment is more telling about you than Romney.

    September 12, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Mark, Dallas, TX

    Who is Mitt Romney? A business man. He can run a business but contrary to some running a business is not the same as running a government. In a business there is one objective – make profitable and successful business. In government, it is to represent ALL the interests of the people – not the singularly minded my objective is the only way. We've had 7 years of that and look at the mess that got us into (US & Texas mess).

    September 12, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Alan St Louis Mo

    Who cares Or give a (beep)? It Wanabees fighting for the spotlight to get smashed on election day. Wake up out of your dreams and smell the roses. The democrats have it won already you just dont know it yet. The best thing to do is to remove repulicans wanabees presidents from the ballat and put the tier one democrats on the ballot for presidents on election day. Amercia just deciding which democrat it want for president.

    September 12, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. bprossersme

    What else do you expect from Democrats? They're pathetic...

    September 12, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  16. Justino, Ada OK

    The funny thing is that Romney is the candidate who has only had one wife...

    September 12, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. David, Kansas City, MO

    Merced, seriously what an Idiotic statement. But then I'm sure you knew that. Fyi, we are in an age where religious intolerance is as deplorable as racism.

    September 12, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. S. Richard, Olathe, KS

    Jason, Mitt Romney's pajamas may be many things, but they certainly aren't magical. He's also the only top-tier Republican candidate who's only had one wife. Go figure.

    September 13, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  19. Ryan, Oakland, CA

    That was very brave of you Jason. Making a juvenile comment like that in a public place. Most people would have been embarrassed. But not you.

    In other news. I'm not a Romney supporter but you have to admit he handles these "scandals" well. In one day he's pretty much neutralized any criticism and has made Thompson look like he's playing political games.

    September 13, 2007 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  20. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    This is very disturbing to know that still very few people would use comments like this one:

    "I wonder if Mitt is going to wear his magic pajamas tonight when he gets in bed with his wives.

    Posted By Jason L., Merced, CA : September 12, 2007 7:22 pm"

    PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF! Gov. Romney is one of the most respected individuals when it comes to family values and his strong convictions regarding this issue.

    September 13, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  21. Doug Hughes

    I cannot in my right mind imagine voting for a Man (Romney), whose religion he professes, belives that he will someday be a God of another planet in the universe.

    September 13, 2007 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  22. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    So CNN – religious ridicule and discrimination is OK with you? You leave up a anti-Mormon slur and take down a rebuttal to it?

    September 13, 2007 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  23. Veronica, Stamford, CT

    I find Mittens "offensive and juvenile" ... what's his point? That he's a flip-flopper who says just want he thinks a particular group wants to hear even though five minutes prior he said the complete opposite and claims he hasn't a clue as to what HIS EMPLOYEES are doing on his behalf? Why, I believe Mittens eyes are turning a VERY dark shade of BROWN ...

    September 13, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Ryan, Oakland, CA

    But Doug, could you imagine voting for someone who believes the earth is only 6,000 years old (Huckabee)? How about someone who believes that during the Eucharist the bread and wine actually turn into the body and blood of Christ even though they look exactly the same as before (Guliani)? Or how about someone who worships a carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago (all the candidates).

    Religion is all faith based anyway. Its silly to criticize someone because their unverifiable spiritual beliefs are different from your unverifiable spiritual beliefs. In fact, its more than silly, its bigoted.

    September 13, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |

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