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. Jonathan Goldste (Birmingham, AL)

    I agree... lighten up a bit. I'm a Democrat, and I don't find the sign offensive. It's akin to a sign at a baseball or football game, in which people just use their imagination to rhyme. I don't think that Romney (or his sign-toting supporter) are really trying to say that Obama or Hilary are like Osama Bin Laden... it just rhymes.

    July 23, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Leslie, KC MO

    "I'm not responsible for all the signs I see" so he did see the sign...i thought he said he doesn't look at all of them...

    July 23, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Clark Brewer

    Ignorance abounds in the US,
    and Romney like republicans in the past
    like to wheel their dog and pony shows right up to it cause that's where
    they feel comfortable–in the land
    of ignorance.

    July 23, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. tom psl fl

    He is responsible for having his picture taken with that particular sign ,he should have read the sign first

    July 23, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. sonny c.ville platte,la

    Oh Boy !! Another "Uniter but not a divider" for President.

    July 23, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Gavin, Merrillville, IN

    I'm a Dem, but if this is Osama's middle name, then it is fair game. Romney might have looked better by mentioning this instead of telling people to "lighten up." We are in the middle of terrorist war with Osama Bin Laden at-large, that's nothing to lighten up about.

    July 23, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Steve A Haverhill, MA

    If she's referring to the new MoMA it's in Soho, not Chelsea.

    July 23, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Sarah, Oregon

    This is America – any idiot has the right make and display a silly sign (misspelled though it may be) but it is irresponsible and disrespectful for Romney to pose with a sign equating a US Senator to the creep who planned the massacre of thousands of US citizens – shame on you Romney.

    July 23, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Ringo Earth

    Anyone that thinks that sign is funny, needs to get out and expand their sense of humor a bit... go out on the town and see a comedian. The sign is too lame to be offensive.

    July 23, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Jeanne, Freeman, MO

    I'll lighten up when Mr. Romney becomes less superficial. This is obsurd and insulting behavior.

    July 23, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Kevin, Milwaukee, WI

    Moma?? Looks like another argument for the "No Childless Attitude Left Behind Program".

    July 23, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Avocado in CA

    Get over yourselves. It's politics. I say lighten up too. Good grief people. How old are you anyway?

    July 23, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Chris, Austin, Texas

    Hey, CNN, why don't you post the photo of him HOLDING the sign, and then have him say "I didn't read it." What a dunce. No wonder the favorite Republican candidate is "none of the above.

    July 23, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Rob

    "Me" in Dallas proves a previously stated observation: some of these conservative supporters are semi-literate at best.

    Qutoing "Me": "who cares what the sign say….and maybe is correct…at least for sure it is very amusing"

    Why is it that 90% of the folks that are GOP supporters are morons who can't spell?

    July 23, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Dave, Alpharetta GA

    The sign says more about Romney's supporters than it does about him: Unintelligent, ignorant and pathetic!

    America is wide awake now, and we have no intention of letting those loser back in the White House again.

    Keep smilin' Mitt.

    July 23, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. James, Phoenix AZ

    Yes – let's all impale the poor woman for exercising her free speech Jonnie Cochran style!

    Has your life become so trivial that you're howling about THIS picture of Mitt with a supporter?

    Which is worse... a spelling error or this pitch-and-fork mob mentality?

    July 23, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Ray, Long Beach, California

    So Romney says "I don't look at all the signs..." What if the the first word in the sign was "death" instead of "no?" Would he still say "lighten up"? I would think that someone with a modicum of intelligence would look at the sign before having their picture taken with it.

    July 23, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Mary David Jacksonville Florida

    I like the sign! CNN just does not like Mitt Romney and its really showing that you want Clinton in the White House.

    July 23, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Douglas H DeGroat, Wallkill NY

    Clinton "I didn't inhale"

    Romney "I didn't read the sign"

    Well, seems the Republicans are more like Democrats then they are willing to admit. I'd expect a president whose observational skills are much better then this, so long Mitt!!

    July 23, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Poor Mitt. He hasn't got time to check on what message he's sending to the potential voters. Could it be "I'm too busy to do the right thing?" or just "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message." Unfortunately the message I'm getting is "I'm too silly to be useful" and I suspect that's the one everyone else is getting too. Save yourself, Mitt. Go home before that macaca guy shows up with a sign.

    July 23, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Parker, Bloomfiels Hills, MI

    Who cares? Lighten up and get a life...I really dont think this is as big a deal as some of you are making it out to be.

    July 23, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Asad, Atlanta GA

    So if you didn't like flip-floppers four years ago, and you like a flip-flopper now, does that make you a flip-flopper?

    July 23, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. USA

    Maybe he can't read!

    July 23, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Keith, Athol, Mass

    Please its okie for them to make Obama Girl skits and Ruddy Girl ones but a Romney fan makes a sign and everyone is in an uproar. I personally dont care for the guy but like he said "lighten up a little" its a joke! This si the prob with this country today.

    July 23, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Douglas Cook, Lafayette, IN

    For all of you who are in some way offended by the sign in question, please take a course in remedial logic. The sign is meant to express opposition to three individuals: Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, and Hillary Clinton. Mitt Romney, his supporters, and nearly all core Republican are opposed to these three individuals (for different reasons in each case). You, the reader, make a logical blunder if you assume that the sign equates these three individuals or compares them to each other. The sign simply lists three individuals whom Republicans oppose. Where is the offense in that?

    July 23, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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