Romney pushes back after protesters interrupt rally
January 9th, 2012
09:47 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney pushes back after protesters interrupt rally

(CNN) - Mitt Romney sparred with a group of Occupy protesters at a rally in New Hampshire Monday, a rare sight for the former Massachusetts governor who normally avoids engaging when his campaign stops are interrupted.

When a group began chanting “Live Free or die! Always occupy!” during a campaign stop in Bedford, Romney intervened and asked the group what message they were aiming to get across.

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“How about, instead of shouting, why don’t you say what you mean? What’s your view? Madam, what do you think?” Romney asked.

When a protester responded with a grievance about the role of money in political campaigns, Romney used the moment to take a swipe at President Barack Obama.

“Who’s the president who’s spending more money to campaign than any in the history of America?” Romney asked to cheers from his supporters. “The answer is that this president is spending money and has spent money. You know what this president has been the first president to throw aside the public funding program and break all those barriers and to spend massively more than any president in history.”

Romney said the protesters weren’t offering a legitimate alternative to the American system of government.

“I get the chance to see these guys who come out here to protest and now and then I ask them, 'Tell me, what would you replace America with, what kind of system would you have?' They don’t know. And the truth is, there has never been any place on Earth that has freed people from poverty like free enterprise American style,” Romney said.

Romney’s demeanor during the skirmish was markedly different than his reactions to previous interruptions to his campaign events, and reflected a style employed by his surrogate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, on Sunday.

Responding to chants from a group of attendees yelling "Mitt kills jobs, Christie kills jobs,” the Republican governor fired back.

"Really? You know something may go down tonight, but it ain't gonna be jobs sweetheart," Christie said, before pointing to his record of job creation in the New Jersey.

At other events, Romney has tersely told protesters, “you had your turn, now it’s my turn,” before waiting for police to escort protesters out.

Also see:

Santorum to South Carolina: 'Step up'

Romney feared being fired

Paul looking forward to South Carolina, caucus states

Perry makes play for Christian voters in South Carolina

Democrats maintain focus on Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. gop4voldmrt

    Conservative activist judges in the Supreme Court opened the flood gates for anonymous corporate influence in elections with Citizens United vs. FEC. Since you are so interested in what people's problems are, how about you commit to doing something about that Mitt Romney?

    January 10, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Nemofabulus Maximus

    So the OWS are traitors who want to replace America with something else? Sorry, but America is the sum of all the people living inside it.

    January 10, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. FormerlyfromUtah

    I find it humorous Huntsman is running on a "Trust" theme. Having lived in Utah during the entire time Huntsman was Governor, I can tell you he is willing to do or say anything to get your vote and is not honest in anyway, shape or form. He is just a lot smoother at lieing then the other Republicans. During his Governorship, he pushed for legislation that was contrary to the will of the majority of Utans jso he could be acceptable to the Obama administration. Huntsman was trying to set himself up for the China position with the Obama as a prelude to Huntsmans running for President so he could state he had foreign polixcy credentials. He is a devious person. Don't Trust him.

    January 10, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Lolo

    I want to know what his message is. He never has one. Just bashes the current President just like his so called followers. He needs to go home and keep collecting those millions from Bain Capital, because that is all this man is good for collecting money off the backs of the down and out people.

    January 10, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Steve

    Huntsman is the best candidate out there today. If he loses in the republican nomination, I hope he runs as an independent. I am a registered democrat that will cross party lines for the right candidate and Huntsman is it. In an interview with ABC News a few months ago, he spoke about serving as the US ambassador to China under Obama. Huntsman didn't use politics as an excuse. He was PROUD to serve his country. I think it should be our honor to elect him.

    January 10, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mittens did come off as a chump by having Christie 'handle' the OWS folks for him the other day. So I wouldn't be surprised if this was nothing more than a staged moment to have him regain a more "manly" status amongst the voters.
    If that is in fact what's occurring, amy I also suggest that they burn those freakin' jeans he wears, and they get him hooked up with a stylist.

    January 10, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Fried Green Tomatoes

    *** Steve

    Huntsman is the best candidate out there today. If he loses in the republican nomination, I hope he runs as an independent. I am a registered democrat that will cross party lines for the right candidate and Huntsman is it. In an interview with ABC News a few months ago, he spoke about serving as the US ambassador to China under Obama. Huntsman didn't use politics as an excuse. He was PROUD to serve his country. I think it should be our honor to elect him.

    Huntsman served under a Democrat, he is a traitor.

    January 10, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. daveinla

    Why would the OWS people do something dumb like that?

    January 10, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. ben dover

    "and the police escorted them out"

    thats whats wrong with America

    January 10, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Barnaby Jones

    George Bush is related to both Huntsman and Romney, Great reason to not vote for either.

    January 10, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Do Not Disassemble

    To make Mittens look more like average Joe, they put him in blue jeans.
    Nazi stormtroopers uniform much more fitting.

    January 10, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Smitty77

    I still haven't heard how a President can "create jobs"! Anyone want to venture a guess? The only way I can envision Obama creating jobs is for him to borrow money and go build a bridge or something. However, that would likely only reduce the unemployment numbers while the project is underway. So, not being funny, I still want to hear how he could provide work when the industrial jobs have been sent offshore by the company owners.

    January 10, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Dan Jando

    Good for Romney, finally someone lets them use their own words to show how idiotic they are. Let the Occupiers dig their own graves. Romney looked very, very sharp. We need a President that can show some wit.

    January 10, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Independent Voters

    Huntsman serve to help the country how he going to be a traitor. Huntsman for the people not just for president Obama.
    Republican need to be flush down the toilet.

    January 10, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. bluedogboy

    FRIED GREEN TOMATOES said : Huntsman served under a Democrat, he is a traitor.

    I guess that means most people serving our country overseas for our curent Commander in Cheif are traitors. They all can't be democrats.

    You are unamerican.

    January 10, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. daliya robson

    Huntsman is sane, educated and intelligent and human. I cant say the same for any of the others. If Newt where not a hypocrite I would like him. If Perry was educated I could consder him as a good actor to play George Bush of he could remember his lines. Ron Paul is a dangerous bitter sour constipated old man conspiracy person -a real danger to sanity in usa. Santorum should go back to the days of the 14th century inquisition. Romney is a cheap liar is expensive clothing. Im for Obama and hope he sharpens his teeth a bit more as he is dealing with snakes and tigers and wolves and not flower children.

    January 10, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. ted

    flip flopping and out of touch with the 99% – the truth about Romney. Vote Obama in 2012

    January 10, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. stephen a

    Romney would be a generous lord to if he could have all of us as his serfs.

    January 10, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. G

    Romney was asked about his position and all he could say was Obama. Way to not represent personal responsiblity Willard.

    Obama 2012 FOUR MORE YEARS!

    January 10, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Palin: Like Coulter ... Minus the Manparts

    Just wait until the general election if Mittens survives. He hasn't begun to see what real heckling is like.

    January 10, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. ib42

    This guy is pure slime....he thinks, as all republicans do, that he is really something. He is not, and neither are they.

    January 10, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. FreeLove

    Romney had to be bailed out by the federal government multiple times when he ran bain leaving tax payers on the hook for ten of million. No Mittens, what you practice isn't "capitalism". It is corporate welfare cronism. There is one version of "capitalism" for the 1% and another form for the other 99%.

    January 10, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. ChubbJack

    I am still awaiting all of the jobs promised by the 2010 GOP/Tea party elected politicians. Also, I would like for OWS to protest lobbying. Even better, I would like for lobbying to be unlawful with stiff enforcement and severe penalties. Lobbying is pretty much the same thing that Blagojevich was convicted of. Lastly, funding for campaigns should come from two sources for all candidates: 1. From a local, state, or federal provision, and 1 from individual citizens that are not a corporation.

    January 10, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Ask him how his cousins Jose and Pablo are doing – ha ha ha ha ha

    Guess that's better than Mitt, Matt, Jugg, Thug, whatever his five lazy sons are named.

    January 10, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Natalie

    Mittens is misleading once again. Of course Obama is spending money, but that money isn't from super PAC's, but individual donors for the most part. It will be interesting to see where the GOP super PAC money is really from. They sadly don't have to reveal until after the election, but gee, can't we all guess?

    January 10, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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