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. Bryan G, Kansas City, MO

    If you can't trust him to know what he's posing with......how can you trust him to know what he's doing running the largest "free" country in the world?

    July 23, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Ted L. Loda Evanston Illinois

    What does Lou Dobbs think?
    This past weekend, I heard Mr. Dobbs
    misstate a comment by Sen Obama with
    regard to genocide. Mr. Dobbs left
    critical portions of the comment out
    and I question his intent in doing so.

    July 23, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. brian, houston tx

    The fact that many of the people commenting on this story think that Barack Hussein Obama's middle name is Osama speaks for itself.

    Six and a half years of Bush, Rove and Faux News have lead America to this: lighten up, no big deal, arguing with incorrect facts(lies) as if they were truth.

    Way to go repugs. By the way Moma is spelled Momma, or at least it was until this alternative Bush world came into being.

    July 23, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Nate Thompson, Cortez, Colo.

    Great campaign move if you ask me, negative publicity spreads faster than wild fire and in the end ... what will be remembered is Romney for pres ... not Romney supports people who compare Obama to Osama. This just shows how shallow our presidential campaigns are and that real issues ... like farm conservation measures, global warming, and insurance are going under the radar.

    July 23, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Debra, St. Louis, Missouri

    How dare they...It's their party who went after Sadam instead of the real culprit Osama. Now they want to do what mid to lower class White Americans do, name call and slander. As far as I'm concerned we can do without more racism in the White House. We've had far to much of that as it is.

    July 23, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Maria, CA

    I guess if it's okay for Fox News to run a Osama/Obama "typo" then it's cool for some mouth-breathing inbred Romney supporter who can't spell "mama" to stand there like an idiot holding that sign. To expect Romney to pay attention to what a sign says before he poses with it is too much to ask of a short-sighted fool who thinks that we need to build more Gitmos so we can keep torturing people to win the "war" on terrorism. This guy is never going to win an election and Obama could bury him in a debate any day.

    July 23, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Nate Thompson

    Last time I checked ... Obama's middle name is Hussein.

    July 23, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. outfoxed, CA, LA

    The real story is that CNN decided to make this a story.

    Running every 30 minutes, or so...

    Oh yeah, and the Democrats are debating on CNN today. And the lady holding the sign is probably a republican operative.

    July 23, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. luigui, Houston, Texas

    Maybe is the peroxide she uses on her hair that it’s leaking into her head but she can not spell at all. What its Mitt’s excuse again? What? We forgot about MACACA this soon? What the hell happened to the GOP? Everyday Hillary looks better and better. These GOP pack of clowns are just paving her way into the Whitehouse... great job guys!!!

    July 23, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Jessica, Fort Worth TX

    well he is certainly living up to the expectations of the current administration. Let's not take responsibility for anything or read the contract before we sign. what a crock. I don't think that we as Americans are quite that bull headed to buy into that.

    July 23, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Ben Everage Fairfield Iowa

    Here a sign for Romney:

    July 23, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Debbie Pakzaban, Houston, TX

    I wish someone would ask Mitt Romney how his church feels about Blacks. As a former Mormon, I know they believe that blacks were not as brave and courageous as whites were in heaven. Yes, it is ridiculous. Apparently, God made them black because it was their curse for not being strong against Satan. It was in the early 1970's when blacks were able to hold the priesthood in the Mormon church. And to think this guy could be our president.
    Debbie Pakzaban

    July 23, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Jenna Tullwarts, Houston, Texas

    He's just one of many brainless conservative candidates in the election, what would you expect?

    July 23, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. David, Cincinnati, Ohio

    I can't believe everyone is making such a big deal out of this. Get a life....

    July 23, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. chihuahua owner

    I know the silliness in this thread is about Barack Obama's middle name. Just adding a new dimension–
    Mitt Romney: Full name Willard Mitt Romney
    (Father's name: George W. Romney)

    July 23, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Matthew - Austin, TX

    It'd be nice to see journalism that doesn't include "obvious" personal insertions. I thought reporting meant telling the facts, not one's own opinion.

    July 23, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Mrs. America

    Remember when John McCain told people to "Get a life?" Look where his campaign is now. Just look, though, because he won't talk about it–his campaign, that is.

    July 23, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Paul S, Los Angeles, CA

    I think the tires in Romney's campaign just deflated a little bit more. Kudos. We get to see what a real jerk this guy is BEFORE the elections.

    July 23, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Didn't Ted Kennedy refer to Obama as Osama once too?

    July 23, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Tom, Austin TX

    It's really nice to see everyone focusing on the real issues that will actually effect all of us regarding our potential future President....oh wait.

    July 23, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Gabe, Lakewood, Colorado


    July 23, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Todd, Houston, Texas

    What's wrong? Truth hurts? Can't take a joke? Please... Give me a break... What's his name anyhow? Hussein Burak Osama Obama? or Hussein Burak Osama, or Hussein Burak Obama? Is it really Burak Obama? What is his middle name, or is Burak his middle name? When is Al Gore going to get in the race? He would actually have a fighting chance and would be a valid candiate with substantial support.

    July 23, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. R. Norman, Columbia, Maryland

    Mitt Romney should be ashamed of himself, not for seemingly agreeing with the poster, but for that weak line about not knowing what was written on the poster. Does he really expect folks to buy that story? I'd have more respect for Mitt Romney if he'd simply owned up to the position that he was taking.

    July 23, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. John Doe, Chester, VA

    As an individual seeking the highest political position in this country and the most important person in the world in my peoples eyes. The future President of the United States has to be aware of his/her surrounding at all times.

    July 23, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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