Game on: Romney sends hecklers to Obama event
May 31st, 2012
05:33 PM ET
10 years ago

Game on: Romney sends hecklers to Obama event

(CNN) - Mitt Romney on Thursday took credit for sending a rowdy group of hecklers to disrupt an Obama campaign event earlier in the day, saying he was merely giving some tit-for-tat.

"If the president is going to have his people coming to my rallies, and heckling, why, we'll show them that, you know, we conservatives have the same kind of capacity he does," Romney said at an event outside Solyndra headquarters in California.

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Earlier Thursday, a round of vocal Romney supporters showed up for an Obama campaign press conference in Boston on the steps of the Massachusetts State House, in which former and current state officials took to the microphone to blast Romney's record as the state's former governor.

Their remarks, however, were largely drowned out by the small crowd of about 30 hecklers, who booed and jeered at the speakers, which included Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod, as they stood just a few feet in front of the stage.

The event organizer's microphones amplified the attendees such that television viewers could clearly hear their remarks but also the cacophony from the Romney supporters.

A Romney spokesman chronicled the attempts at disruption via Twitter, posting pictures of the barricades blocking the area and a top Obama official making his way through a clump of protesters to the podium.

At one point, the top Obama adviser, David Axelrod, shouted back at the crowd.

"You can't handle the truth, my friends," Axelrod said to the protesters. "That's the problem. If you could handle the truth, you'd quiet down."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Romney's campaign was organizing an event at an undisclosed location, acknowledging they feared the Obama administration would somehow prevent them from staging it.

Responding to the tactic, Obama's deputy campaign manager described Romney as "paranoid."

"I'm not quite sure what paranoid world Mitt Romney is living in, but that is just absurd to me for someone who wants to be president of the United States," Stephanie Cutter said in an interview to air on CNN's "The Situation Room."

At the privately-planned Romney event, which turned out to be the press conference in front of Solyndra headquarters, Romney was asked about the secrecy surrounding his surprise visit.

"I think that there are people who don't want to see this event occur, don't want to have questions asked about this particular investment…," Romney said, referring to the Energy Department's $535 million loan to Solyndra prior to the company's bankruptcy in 2011 and political contributions some of the company's executives had made to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.

"This is a serious conflict of interest. This ought to be a big story. And I don't think there – I think there are a number of people among the president's team that don't want that story to get out. We wanted to make sure it did," Romney added.

He was also quizzed about the hecklers earlier in the day. Taking credit for the move, Romney said he has held a number of events that have been disrupted by Obama supporters and decided to give a taste of their own medicine.

"At some point you say, you know what, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If they're going to be heckling us, why we're not going to sit back and play by very different rules," he said.

Also see:

Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record

Obama campaign releases third set of Spanish ads

Gonzales says Romney must make personal connection to Hispanics

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Orwell Sees it

    Bishop wingnut and his birther friends.

    May 31, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. BBear1

    Will Willard show us the evidence that Mr. Obama sent paid staffers as hecklers to a Romney event? One thing is clear. Willard inherited a healthy penchant for political dirty tricks from Pres. Nixon's 1968 campaign against George Romney.

    May 31, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Devon

    your Everything Sucks & Everything Blows Tabby Nackle 2012 tour is plain STUPID. Youre voter Surpression Ass shoul just quit now & avoid a whole lotta Embaressment. Ya got nothin Bishop!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Jeff in San Diego

    Great. We now officially have children running for the highest office in the world. At this point I hope the mayans are right, I'm sick of being smarter than people who have power.

    May 31, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    That is so juvenile. I can see him on the gradeschool playground yelling "I'm gonna get my buddies to get even with you".

    the Ron Paul supporters are the ones heckling Robme - but that MUST be ok because they are all part of the republican clan..

    What a juvenile person. Yeah. That's who we need with a finger on that button (Not).

    May 31, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Devon

    Oh My thats pretty strong stuff Willard, Sending a bunch of White, Whiter & whitest Stupid Tabby nackles to heckle for your dumd ass,. bishop, Ya got Nothin!!!!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Patriot Awesome

    I used to think that at the very least, Romney's not a dirt bag, but I've just been proven wrong. He is a complete dirt bag.

    May 31, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens never grew up mentally. He is still in high school running a little group of elitist thugs.

    May 31, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    so where are all the GOP'ers who express outrage when Mittens gets heckled? Anyone? Anyone?

    May 31, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Michael

    The difference is that Obama didn't send hecklers to Romney's events.

    May 31, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Devon

    I Head Tabby Nackle Of Boston do solemly Swear to Enforce the WHITES ONLY Policy for the Elders in my Cult of 14 MILLION. Willard, Bigotry should Disqualify you for this & Yall Stupid Ass Racist Religion should be REVOKED from Tax Exempt Status....

    May 31, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. insight iowa

    After the first debate there will be no more "tight polls" Obama will have this wrapped up... and yes, Patriot Awesome I agree 100%.

    May 31, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Bill

    What an infant. You took my lollipop, so I am going to takes yours. I wonder if this shell of a man will ever talk to reporters other than those at Fox or if we will have full disclosure of his tax returns? No matter, this wierdo will never be president.

    May 31, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Former Republican for President Obama

    Just what this country needs frat boy Romney running for President. The CEO games will not work for our country Romney. We are tired of the games you and your rich buddies play. We don't want someone playing with our lives and the world is watching your childish stunts. Being President is not a game and it will backfire in Nov. 2012.

    May 31, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. commonsense

    Is Romney in 2nd grade?? What a whiner. He lacks so much!

    May 31, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Pander Bear

    Mitty, Obama didn't "send" anyone to heckle you. Those people did so because they genuinely think you stink. The fact that you have paid staffers harassing the Obama campaign is yet another reason to despise you. You are living proof that money cannot buy class.

    May 31, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Greg

    Romney, never a low road he wouldn't take.

    May 31, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Yonni

    This how President (god help us all) Romney tackle world diplomacy? By sending hacklers to Russia and China to drawn-out their voice? Just wondering.

    May 31, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. stephen

    when they come to your rallies to heckle you should hold them down and cut off their hair !!! lol wink wink

    May 31, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Wow! How childish. I lost ALL respect for Romney now and I no longer believe he is fit to be President, although I never really liked him anyway. He still thinks he's that prankster in prep school.

    May 31, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    I disagree with you Patriot Awesome because I always KNEW Willard was a dirt bag so no surprise here. I'm just glad others are finding out.

    May 31, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Larry L

    This one act shows Romney's true character. This is the behavior of a spoiled rich boy who's used to getting his way. Very, very low class move!

    May 31, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Larry L

    If the American political scene was "Harry Potter" who do you think Mitt Romney would be? Hint... he has very blonde hair...

    May 31, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. zulu

    Is this guy really 65 years old? My 20 year olds act more mature then he does, jeezs

    May 31, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    ok so Mitt has to "hire" hecklers to go to an Obama event wheras the ones that may show up at his come at their own free will? Says a lot about the support for Mitt if you ask me that you have to ASK somebody to go heckle for you.

    May 31, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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