February 16th, 2010
01:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Romney threatened with violence on flight

Romney took in the opening weekend at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Romney took in the opening weekend at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

(CNN) – Even former presidential candidates are subject to the occasional annoyances of air travel.

A passenger seated in front of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's wife became "physically violent" when the former Republican presidential candidate asked the passenger to move his seat in a more upright position.

The incident occurred Monday when the Romneys were headed from Vancouver, Canada to Los Angeles on an Air Canada flight, according to spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.

In a statement to CNN, Fehrnstrom said "Romney did not retaliate, but instead allowed the airline crew to respond to the incident."

Following the uproar, the plane returned to the gate where the passenger was removed by airport police. Romney was not injured.


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Chris Martin

    If the plane wasn't even off the runway, the seat back should never have been set back until well in the air. Good on the flight staff for handling things the way they did, and good on Romney for not escalating things. Far to many people simply feel the rules don't apply to them thinking only of themselves and not a thought for anyone else seated around them.

    February 16, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Indy

    This must mean it is the slowest political news day in the history of the world ? I am sure Palin will open her mouth today and several lies will fall out so there is hope for a more exciting story to come yet today.

    February 16, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. CNN -- biased as usual!

    "A passenger seated in front of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's wife became "physically violent" when the former Republican presidential candidate asked the passenger to move his seat in a more upright position."
    -----------------
    As usual, CNN shows its liberal-leaning bias by faililng to point out that the guy needed to have his seat upright for take-off (which WAS reported by other news outlets). Kinda an important aspect of this whole thing (AND airline regulations!), don't ya think? By omitting that, CNN deviously makes it look as though Romney somehow may have made an unreasonable request.

    February 16, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Rick

    People who put their seats back on airplanes have no consideration for the people behind them. I don't blame Romney one bit.

    February 16, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. GT Hill

    Never threaten. Act. Especially against Republicans.

    February 16, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Hows that nonunion made Toyota workin for ya?

    Just like a republican,all mouth and no muscle.They are good at stirring up fears and sending others to fight ,but when it comes to themselves they are cowards like Cheney.

    February 16, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Nali Khan

    Why doesn't it say what the passenger did? Did he assault Mrs. Romney? What does "physically violent" mean in this context?

    February 16, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Conservative Voice

    Wow...people sure are getting hostile on planes. Glad to hear the Romneys handled themselves with class.

    February 16, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Ridgeway

    Well, that's a chance you take when Williams Ayers is in the seat in front of you.

    February 16, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. AB

    Apparently, Mr. Romney thinks he should get special treatment.

    February 16, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Eye wide open

    Tune in to Daily Kos, HuffPo and Assorted Left-wing sites to read how Romney had it coming, the guy was really accosted by Romney not the other way around and go to Media Matters to find out that Air Canada has a conservative bias.

    February 16, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Anne E.

    Air Canada should've pulled a "Southwest," and tossed the Romneys from the plane.

    February 16, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Wes

    People have to relax and take a breath before responding to any incident with violence. Unfortunately though, when violence cascades down from our leadership in Washington what other results can we expect. Politics of destruction, pre-emptive strikes, water boarding, torture and so you reap what you sow.
    I'm glad Mitt used his head and stayed calm, we need more of that in todays society.

    February 16, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. montag

    So – who was seated in front of Mrs. Romney? Sarah Palin?

    February 16, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Tony in Maine

    Obviously, the person in front of Romney thought, "it's all about me" which, ironically, is the phrase that should be across the bottom of Mass. vehicle license plates.

    Seriously, if the airlines were not quite so greedy and did not try to jam those extra rows into an airplane, this situation would not have happened. So, once again, the problem is accountants.

    February 16, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Mr. Mittens traveling with common folk? It is good he did not engage in fisticuffs to protect his wife.

    February 16, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Kevin in Ohio

    If this passenger actually knew it was Romney he was dealing with, it is more evidence that the left-wing whackos resort to violence and hate.

    February 16, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Daniel

    Way to go Romney! Turn the other cheek.

    February 16, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Jim

    I have been on many Air Canada flights with canadiens and they think that slamming the seat back in your face , is ok. They are rude, standing in the isle's and drinking , like their in a pub. However, people do it on the US flights , as well. The problem with being tall isthat when the seat is put back in your face, you can't read or drink a soda because there is no room. Somewhere in between is best.

    February 16, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Marie

    I would not fly on a plan with that cult member, Romney!

    Mormonism is a CULT!!!

    February 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. bts

    Why are people so angry? That's why I really appreciate our President. He's the calmest guy in Washington D.C. these days . While others are going around spewing hate, he calmly tries to foster bipartisanship, stays focused on the real issues and is the voice of reason. I hopes he get the Nobel Peace Prize next year. Lord know he deserves it! Also, Romney and other Republicans, welcome to the angry world you've created. Try working with the rest of the country instead of against it and maybe you can avoid situations like this.

    February 16, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Jay

    Why would you Romneys have the right to tell the passenger who paid for their seat to move their seat to a more upright position?

    You're rich enough to buy 1st class tickets easily. Were you in 1st class? And the room was still not enough that you had to ask the person to upright their seat.

    Rich and selfish. Typical Republican rich guy.

    February 16, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Will the passenger have to be tried in a military court too?

    February 16, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Brenda

    You can't think you can threaten the next President of the United States and get away with it!

    February 16, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Julie Thomas

    So another passenger was suposed to be uncomfortable to make Romney more comfortable.....that is just like him....pompus.

    February 16, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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