July 23rd, 2007
06:14 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney says 'lighten up' to sign critic

Romney recently posed with a supporter donning a controversial campaign sign. Another photograph shows Romney holding the sign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has a message for those who are criticizing him for recently posing next to a supporter’s controversial campaign sign: “lighten up.”

The former Massachusetts governor took heat over the weekend from one town-hall audience member for recently posing with a supporter who donned a sign saying “"No to Obama, Osama and Chelsea's Moma."

The sign is an obvious grouping of the two leading Democratic presidential candidates - Sens. Hillary Clinton, the mother of Chelsea Clinton, and Barack Obama - with Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 organizer Osama Bin Laden.

"I don't look at all the signs when I'm having pictures taken,” Romney said during a town-hall meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire when pressed to apologize by one member of the audience. The comments were captured and made available to CNN by New Hampshire Public Radio.

“I have a lot of pictures taken with people, Romney also said. “I don't really spend all that much time looking at the signs and the T-shirts and the buttons. I don't have anything to say about a sign somebody else was holding."

"You know what? Lighten up slightly," he added. "There are a lot of jokes out there. I'm not responsible for all the signs I see.”

- CNN's Steve Brusk and Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Jason Washington, DC

    Actaully CNN didn't even correctly quote the sign they have a photo of! It's "No to Obama Osama..."

    July 23, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Don B. Virginia Beach, VA

    It figures that she couldn't even spell "momma". Or perhaps she was referring to the Museum of Modern Art. Having Barack's name linked to Bin Laden is no better than having W's name hooked up with Hitler. It's an outrage, pure and simple. This may be the first of Mitt's "macacca moments".

    July 23, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Doug, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Every politician I've ever known can read a name tag or spot a friendly or unfriendly face from at least 100 yards away. They notice everything. Successful businessmen also notice everything. Mitt thought he wouldn't be called out on this pandering in code to the most base of the republican base.

    July 23, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Harry Potter - London England

    First of all, I did not know that Chelsea owned The MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art). Secondly, why would someone say No to the MOMA? Is this woman, and Mister Romney by default, against having a Museum of Modern Art?

    July 23, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Lisa, Orlando FL

    People...she spelled "Moma" to make it work in the alliterative sense. She didn't "misspell it.
    That being said, for all of you posters defending it, why, exactly, is it so "clever"? I mean, maybe if you listen to Rush and the others, where a person's NAME seems to matter (something I haven't witnessed since high school elections), you find this somehow to be cute or...? I really don't get it?
    And, for what it's worth, Mr. Romney, as a citizen of this country, I think that I will decide what I think is offensive or not. Not YOU.

    July 23, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Sean, Portland, OR

    Interesting the rhetoric coming from the Romney opposition. These are problably thought the Hitler/Bush comparisons on the Moveon.org website were "right on".

    So, who started it first?? I've been hearing Hitler/"insert GOP candidate name here" for YEARS now.....

    Does it make it right...no.

    Is this a reason to publicly flog him?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

    We've seen worse things than this that should be making headlines. This is just an attempt by his opponents to try and start something to distract you from the real political dialogue.


    July 23, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Rick, Little Rock, AR

    Barack's Wiki entry

    Also, I'm a member of the LDS faith and would like to say that I find a lot of comments that have been made to be pretty funny.

    Democrat commentators that forget the fact that they supported Bill Clinton. ALSO the fact that every president as far back as I can remember (Carter administration) has had lies they had to cover up. I believe Romney to be about the most honest of the candidates that we have to choose from.

    July 23, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. TJB, Portland, OR

    OK, then: No to Cheney, Romney, and Giuliani.

    July 23, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. CMS, california

    I want to pound my head into the wall due to the amount of attention this is receiving along with his dog kennel incident.

    Not a Romney supporter, but if this is all you can find on the guy then he must be clean. For those that are upset over THIS ISSUE, just remember we have a lot bigger things to tackle as a nation.

    July 23, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Scott, Austin, TX

    Wait a while, you'll see Romney flip-flop on this, too.

    July 23, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. eric vaske

    romneys right just lighten up. all of you are almost awstruck by the incedent he didnt hold a sign himself. it appears dems these days are looking for almost anything to bash political figures its sad which is why we look so pathedic.

    July 23, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Dominique

    So let me get this right...
    Romney says Yes to posing with signs he can't be asked to read...but he says No way Jose!' to chocolate and diet coke?!?

    Isn't it a bit rich for a devout Mormon to tell someone to lighten up?

    No Coca Cola or Hershey chocolate? Surely this man is no patriot.

    Please do not put Romney (his name is Mitt – isn't that something you Yanks use to catch balls?) in charge of anything! (maybe...maybe ball-catching.)

    Your friend in Britain,

    July 23, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Jeff Sidney, Ohio

    What is all the hype over? The last time I looked, this was still America. If someone wants to make a sign like this, so be it. Stop trying to make everything into a political thing. The same ones criticizing Romney are the ones that would find it alright if their candidate had done the same thing.

    July 23, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Ben Dover, Arlington, TX

    This guy is down to earth. You just have to like hime.

    July 23, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. TC

    Will Mitt revise his position on t-shirt slogans tomorrow? Stay tuned.

    July 23, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Tony, New York, New York

    I didn't know Chelsea had a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I knew management consultants made big bucks, but really...


    July 23, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Scott, Dallas TX

    I agree with Mitt. Everyone needs to lighten up already. Which part of the sign do you disagree with? It seems to me that we should say no to terrorism (Osama) as well as those who would raise our taxes, support killing unborn babies (Obama & Billary), etc. Maybe they shouldn't be on the same sign so that we don't offend the left but we should say "no" to both....

    July 23, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Rod, Santa Fe, NM

    If CNN had used the other photo that clearly shows a smiling Mitt looking at the content of the sign, CNN would have to rewrite this article. He is shown to be responsible for the sign there.

    July 23, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Richard Orlando, FL

    Mitt said, "I don’t look at all the signs...” And this guy is running for president???? I would think after the last six years, America would want someone who is actually paying attention to their surroundings.

    July 23, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. David Long Beach CA

    Momma, not MOMA. Duh!

    July 23, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Jordan S, Shoreline, WA

    No, we need not "lighten up". If a candidate cannot distinguish terrorism from political free speech, we do not need that candidate.

    July 23, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Barabas

    Truthfully, I don't know much about Romney, but Cudos to his response on this issue. It's nice to see someone resist backtracking and apologizing for something that is blown out of proportion.

    July 23, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Rich, Wilmington, DE

    Is Mitt kidding? So I take that to mean he is generally unconcerned with his message. I expect much more from my President.

    July 23, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. April, Gainesville, FL

    Moronic boob. If he doesn't read "every sign," then he needs to fire his publicity agents, because that's THEIR job, to keep him from making a fool of himself. Oh wait, too late. You're on minute 14, Mr. Romney.

    July 23, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. m@, Seattle WA

    Chelsea has a Moma?! So sad, I always thought she was healthy...

    July 23, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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