February 16th, 2010
01:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney threatened with violence on flight

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/16/art.romneyol.gi.jpg caption="Romney took in the opening weekend at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver."]

(CNN) - Even former presidential candidates are subject to the occasional annoyances of air travel.

A passenger seated in front of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's wife became "physically violent" when the former Republican presidential candidate asked the passenger to move his seat in a more upright position.

The incident occurred Monday when the Romneys were headed from Vancouver, Canada to Los Angeles on an Air Canada flight, according to spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.

In a statement to CNN, Fehrnstrom said "Romney did not retaliate, but instead allowed the airline crew to respond to the incident."

Following the uproar, the plane returned to the gate where the passenger was removed by airport police. Romney was not injured.

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Jay

    Too bad Romney didn't get smacked...that bozo deserves it!

    February 16, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Was the passenger mirandized or water boarded?

    February 16, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    So, the elitist won and got a passenger who was trying to relax thrown off the flight? Just another of his "achievements" that he can boast of. Mitt is lucky it wasn't me on the flight. I would've at least got a punch in, preferably one strong enough to break his hair.

    February 16, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Tech9ine

    I hate when the passenger reclines their seat into your knees. They should get rid of reclining in Coach. I never recline because I respect the small amount of room the passenger has behind me. I am 6'1. I would hate to be any taller with a recliner. The reclining makes your knees really sore.

    February 16, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. donttreadonme

    This is just common courtesy, I usually ask the person behind me and make sure they are comfortable if I recline a little. Sometimes the seats recline too far and the person in front of you is practically laying in your lap. If that was happening to my wife I would definitely say something. Good for him sticking up for his wife!

    February 16, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Jane/Seattle

    This must be very important for CNN to feature it on this Ticker? Romney is a jerk who has done very little to help the Commons! Even so, this passenger will get the book thrown at him for simple rudeness. How was he violent? What did he do? Why is that part left out of this article? Help us if Romney ever gets power again!

    February 16, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Why was he flying commercial? I thought he was a Billionaire

    February 16, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    As a star purveyor of hate from the party of "no", Mitt should expect to get attacked in public, just like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Palin, and any other mouthy Right-winger that incites hate, fear, and prejudice.

    February 16, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Reny

    Well, I guess that is one vote he wont be getting when he runs in 2012.

    February 16, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Todd

    First of all, what is a filthy rih guy like romney doing not in first class? Second of all, how big an arse was romney being that he provoked such an incident?

    February 16, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Jim

    While this was inconvenient and possible scary for the Romneys, why is does this belong in national political news?

    February 16, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Sentinal2012

    They don't want to tell you that the unruly passenger was Britney Spears.

    February 16, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Dulinda

    CNN did not report that 1. it was during take off when the seats must be upright, and 2. Romney and his wife were in economy. Interesting how CNN leaves these "fun" little details out.

    February 16, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Gavin Witter

    The real question here is: why was Governor Romney traveling coach?

    February 16, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. William Hamilton

    Ah, the joys of air travel. Even Mitt Romney finds it unpleasant now. I dread getting on airplanes. The security, delays, missed connections.

    February 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Socrates43

    Doesn't matter if the King of Prussia would have asked me to move the back of my seat... If I felt as I wanted to move it backwards so I can take a nap.. I wouldn't have listened to Romney.. That is why seats have been built.. so passengers can rest. So who think Romney is.. that just because he feels like extending his legs others should be uncomfortable? These rich people think that they deserve others to bow at them. If he would have been in the other side.. and if I would have asked to move the back of his seat forward.. what do you think he would have told me? People like this guy who hires ilegals to do his gardening are arrogant and inconsiderate.

    February 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Welcome to the era of airline rage.

    February 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Mr. Gay American

    Who cares? Shouldn't Mr. Romney be flying around on private planes anyway like he did when he was running for office? Or was he just doing that because it was tax payers money?

    Also, if a seat reclines, don't you have the right to recline it? I would have just told him off – and not been "physically" violent with him. I am sure he views a threat much differently than the rest of the world. Perhaps this person just told him to mind his own business.... Lets get the whole store here folks.

    February 16, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. KMAN

    Not that a threat of violence is at all resonable under the circumstances, but unless the man somehow altered his seat to lay back further than it's design ... what right does MR have asking him to reposition his seat, sounds rather arrogant and all-too-self-important of Mitt to me! Maybe Mitt forgot he was on a passenger airline and not his usual private jet!!

    February 16, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. An Independent

    Is this not the same tough talking candidate from 2007 and 2008. It is funny what happens when he has to put himself in harms way for what he beleives in "Romney did not retaliate, but instead allowed the airline crew to respond to the incident." That showed some courage. Wimp!!!

    February 16, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Jann in Denver

    Romney probibly acted like an arrogant prick towards the guy in front of him.

    February 16, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |

    send this idiot to Gitmo and let them deal with him. After all the c&@p on airplanes these days, if you cause a commotion you should be put on the no fly list. End of story.

    February 16, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Radar55

    A shoe thrown before he even runs for President, I just don't trust this dude. Hair is to nice and he smile to much!

    February 16, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Rashida

    Why would he ask someone to adjust their seat? If you need more leg room you have to fly 1st Class. Otherwise, you have to be just as cramped as everyone else.

    February 16, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. one voice

    If a passenger wants to put their seat back during flight their choice. At the current rate of tickets, seats should be recliners. My question is: was the Romney's seats back also? Typical Republican, RUDE!!!

    February 16, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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