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. K Miller, Mason City Iowa

    maybe he should read what he is representing in those pics. After all its HIS reputation !

    July 23, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. Raj - Houston, Texas

    Seriously who cares?? It's just a sign, and it's funny. Lighten up.

    July 23, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Ray, Philadelphia, PA

    “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.”

    Hey CNN: How about showing the "other" picture where Romney IS actually holding the sign up himself instead of the one where he's just standing next to the sign while the woman is holding it? Think you could actually muster that?


    July 23, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. Joe Ambrose, Memphis TN

    The sign is written in bright red on a white background. How does he not see the sign again?

    July 23, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Ryan Charleston SC

    How nice! CNN just happened to leave out the photo of Romney HOLDING THE SIGN. Ridiculous.

    July 23, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Brian, Phoenix Arizona

    Maybe Mitt can pose next to a sign that says:

    No to driving across country (or part of) with a dog on the roof

    July 23, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Pat Magron, Fallon, Nevada

    I'm not a Romney supporter, but I do agree with him this time. Lighten up. Not every statement that comes from a candidate has to be totally serious and planned not to offend a single person in the world. People are human and make jokes. If your poor little candidate can't take a little poetic joke like this one, he/she won't stand a chance once the campaigns really get fired up and the mud starts flying for real. Save your ammo and pace yourselves. There is a long way to go.

    July 23, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. rrrlas, Houston, Texas

    No wonder this country is in so much trouble. I am constantly amazed that anyone with half a brain would want to be President. There are bigger issues to tackle and critizing someone for something like this is simply dumb!

    July 23, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Andre Davis, Reading, Pennsylvania

    I want to know Why does media continuously put Obama and Clinton down? I personally think they are the strongest canidates in race; Is it because Clinton is a woman and Obama is a black man?

    July 23, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. jim new york

    Great Poster!!!!!!

    July 23, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Nancy, Thornton CO

    Why did you not post the pic of Romney holding the sign? On TMZ.com, next to the photo of him with the woman holding the sign, he picks up and holds the sign himself. Hmmm... if the sign said something derogatory about the Mormon church, I don't think he would have been next, much less held, that sign.

    July 23, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Jonathan McRobert

    Yeah, lighten up! Sheesh! Besides, how do we know that someone didn't Photoshop the words onto the sign AFTER it was taken? I never believe anything I see online anymore, even from news services. There are just too many flakes who will alter something just to push their opinions.

    July 23, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. TG


    Mitt Romney doesn't understand the first thing about image. You are associated with those to whom you keep company. If Mr. Romney can't read, he is no better than our current President who can't speak. He should get a grip and take ownership for his actions and his image; not pass them off to someone else. Of course, votes are all that counts to him.

    July 23, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Matt, Chicago

    Oh, grow up. Is this really news? The left is really reaching on this one. Hopefully Romney never makes a *real* mistake, I'd hate to see what they'd do to him then.

    July 23, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Bob Corona, CA

    Good for Romney!

    July 23, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Charles Shuler, Chula Vista, CA

    This tells me to not vote for Mr. Romney because if he cannot look at all the signs he poses with is he going to read all the Bills he signs.

    July 23, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Funniest thing I ve read today..

    July 23, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Steve, Muskegon Michigan

    To the man who made a comment about the uproar Obama would cause by holding up a "No Bush, Hitler, and Mittler"...you are right. Comparing our President to a man who viciously (through racism) killed millions of other people is a little more serious than a clever pun by a young child. Get off Romney's back, and go to Digg.com where people will actually take your opinions seriously.

    July 23, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. unhipcat

    thanks for the reminder, mitt.
    where IS osama? after all these years.
    are we still trying to "schmoke 'im outta his caaave"?

    July 23, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. unhipcat

    and why on earth would this woman be against a museum of modern art in england?

    July 23, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. Joe, Pomona, California

    Mitt, we understand you didn't make the sign. (Hopefully you know how to spell "Momma" correctly.) The questioner just wanted to see if you had the courage and spine to distance yourself from it. Guess he found out.

    July 23, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. William, San Gabriel, CA

    A plain and simple white male bigot who represents the new Republican Party born out of the new conservative smear and personal attack mind set. Romney and Rudy should merge forces. Disgusting people who have managed to make America and the Presidency more tarnished than ever before.

    July 23, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. chris, houston

    Romney's response is on the mark. Like he should really be sorry that your feelings were hurt when you saw him, passively standing their adjacent to someone else's political sign. Even if there is another photo of him holding the sign, give me a break: the circumstances are completely inconsequential and absolutely meaningless.

    July 23, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. mollie Francis, Austin, texas

    I wonder if he reads what he signs?

    July 23, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. Jacquie, Clayton, NC

    Mr. Gibson, I need to correct your correction, Obama's middle name is Hussien

    July 23, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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