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)

    I am speechless! What infant mentality is this manifesting itself? Romney is not the one and we shall see sooner than later.
    Games people play.

    May 31, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Wake up people

    President Obama is above this kind of idiocy. I hope no one tries to retaliate. Mittens looks worse and worse everyday and by the time November comes the only supporters he will have are the die hard racists and the millionaires. No intelligent person would vote for him. It's funny, they like to talk about our race calling the POTUS a thug, but the only person showing any sign of thuggery is old and I do mean OLD, Will Mittens Robmey. Hilarious! Is this the best you got Mittens??

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 31, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Debra From Georgia

    Grow up Romney, President Obama did not send Heckler, you started this crap/

    May 31, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Ex-GOP Con

    Really Rich Money?? You make George W. Bush look like a grown up.

    I'm starting believe those stories about your high school days now.

    May 31, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Marty, FL

    Romney's juvenile nonsense is not presidential material nor leadership. It appears the schoolyard bully never grew up.

    May 31, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Martha in CF

    How childish!!!!!!!! How stupid!!!!! Do you think, Mittens, that Obama sent those people to heckle you? I think the American people are smart enough to heckle you on their own.....Get use to it Mittens–you poor boy

    May 31, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How can any right wingnut say that Mittens is qualified to lead our country?

    May 31, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    Republicans learned it from the experts, the Democrats, even though I think Republicans have a long way to go in learning how to scream and shout and carry rude signs like the Democrats do.

    May 31, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. Sniffit


    Obama didn't send hecklers to Mittens' events. They were moivated activists who disagree with Mittens and did ti on their own. There's no evidence to support Mittens' paranoid delusions conspiracy theories...but, the tinfoil hatted conservative base will just believe it anyway. Mittens, however, just admitted sending hecklers to disrupt an Obama event and in so doing he not only proved himself friggin childish, but proved he has a lingering disdain for and petty resentment towards the state that he governed, which threw him out with a 34% approval rating after one term in office. Cry more Mittens. Your tears sustain me.

    May 31, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Marcus

    Any proof presented to back up the claim that the POTUS sent hecklers to at least one event of his opponent?
    Come on, ONE piece of evidence that shows that Mitt is not making up 'facts' again, just one?

    May 31, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Bootstomper

    Romney is like the kid in kindergarten who pulled the wings off of bugs. Total coward.

    May 31, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    Oh, don't get so upset, you guys created this behavior or have Democrats forgotten.

    May 31, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. MaryM

    Romney, once a bully, always a bully. just like cutting hair huh romney.

    Where is your tax returns romney? Still trying to hide that money in the cayman islands? Swiss bank account?
    I am sure IF the returns are releases, they will be sanitized with lysol

    May 31, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. tammy lambert az

    Have some dignity Romney. Obama doesnt have time to be worrying about what group of hecklers to send your way, he is running the country while you are just being a bully...same as you were when you assaulted those people in college.
    Romney is immature and a worthless human being.

    May 31, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. the Situation

    Is this guy for real. So he send people or I should say probably bought people to heckle the Obama event. Does Willard thinks he's still in hgh school bullying people. Obama wouldn't stoop to his level. What a tool!

    May 31, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    This guy is an idiot.

    May 31, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Wake up people

    I just saw this on NBC News. All of the hecklers were white. The young men were all wearing white button down shirts with ties. I venture to say they were all Mormons. Truly pathetic.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 31, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    Republicans learned this behavior from Democrats in Obama's 2008 campaign, I remember it well.

    May 31, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. ST

    Romney is showing up his past behaviour again. We don't discipline our kids when they are young for nothing. It is mainly to stop their bad behaviour at that age, so that they do not repeat them as they grow up even becoming adults. What Romney is showing now, reflects his past life, which all of us are aware of.

    May 31, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    Uhh, the President has more class than to "send" people to spend time with RMoney and gang. Those were folks expressing themselves, just like the TP used to do back in 08. (Only theirs was and organized mob job). Rich man says, "Go away naughty peasants. This isn't about you. You're not like us. No vote, no say."

    May 31, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    I assume Count Kolob has proof that the President sent the hecklers to his "rally"?

    If so, show us the facts, otherwise, you sound like a whiny 8 year old girl.

    May 31, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. rs

    Class act Mr. Romney- especially from the party that only allowed registered Republicans to Mr. Bush's "public" events. It is good to see the Party of Richard Nixon and Dirty Tricks is still fully functional.

    May 31, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Milton K. Wiah

    Can Americans take this guy serious? To admit sending people to Obama's event is beyond me. In my whole life
    loving American politics since 1988 I have not heard something like this. People should be scared, the worst is to
    come from the Republicans just to make sure they win by all means.
    Does he think sending hecklers to Obama's event is what they American want to see. The American people
    want policies and programs outlining what he will do when elected. Business experience he talks about will not cut
    it because he was doing it to support his family while sending people on the streets jobless.

    May 31, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Mr 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" will outsource all the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly, to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Mitten's whining sounds more like Flailin' Palin on a daily basis although, using the SS to keep reporters away is a new twist.

    Just what we need for a candidate for President, a Viet Nam era draft dodger that is nothing more than Palin with a penis.

    May 31, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. Dan in FL

    So.....Mitt Romney is saying that in his mind two wrongs make a right. Thanks for letting us know that you are immature and morally bankrupt.

    May 31, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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