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. Smerlap Kent, WA

    WOW! I am shocked, apparently Mitt took the wrong lessons from the Nixon Campaign of dirty tricks used against McGovern, Musky and George Romey his father. Instead of thinking that is horrible, he said to himself, I like it. Do we really want a President that thinks it is ok to shout down his opponent? Is so paranoid that he thinks he needs to plan events in secret? I now know I will not vote for Mitt Romey, I need an adult in the White House.

    May 31, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. The Nudge

    Wow....Romney sounds like he's losing his mind! This guy is either paranoid or incredibly juvenile in his tactics. Certainly not worthy of holding the most important role in the US. G'bye Mittens, you look very desperate.

    May 31, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. labman57

    The ethics, values, and decisions that a candidate makes during a national campaign are a reflection of the choices that he/she will make if elected.

    The fact that Mitt can't see the folly in embracing Trump (solely because he naively believes that The Donald can help him win in November), or the puerile nature of sending hecklers to disrupt the opposition party's events, is indicative of the poor judgement that is at the core of Romney's psyche.

    May 31, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Ant

    If it keeps going like that. The U.S will know the truth ...

    May 31, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Yomi Olalere

    I cant believe this is happening in America. A presidential candidate bragging about sending his team to disrupt his rival's campaign.

    This country will be doomed with this guy in the office.

    War is definitely imminent if this guy emerged a President. He will definitely send US to war and that will be devastating.He does not have the emotional control to act maturely.

    May 31, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. sayer

    And he admitted it...Wow.

    May 31, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. Romney is not My Hero

    From the Article – "Romney said he has held a number of events that have been disrupted by Obama supporters "

    Yes, but they were NOT sent by the President (maybe Biden – HAHA). Go away, Mitty!

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 31, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. B

    What a clod! Now I'm beginning to see why the Romney campaign managers will not allow reporters outside of FOX NOISE full access to Romney. His boorish behavior is not befitting of a president. Romney is clownish, classless, and uncouth.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 31, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. Chris

    Here we go again – this is the HCR debate all over. Remember how the Tea Partiers were given instructions on how to deliberately disrupt town hall meetings and shout down any one who tried to speak? They are back with their Brown Shirt thug tactics. This is their idea of free speech -the only people who are free to speak are themselves.

    And, no, Obama has never sent any hecklers to disrupt any of Romney's events. Here we go with the GOP's favorite Big Lie tactic – just keep insisting on the lie loudly and repeatedly and the masses will accept it as the truth.

    May 31, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Romeny....REAL CLASS!

    May 31, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Blindersoff

    Take a good long look america, is this the guy? Need I say more?

    May 31, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. connieb

    Oh by all means, don't take the high road. What a dip.

    May 31, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. artraveler

    The Republicans are starting to get an idea of the Ruibberman they will be nominating and right now they couldn't define where he stands on any issue since he has been on both sides of everything. Surprise-he is as East Coast eliteist LIBERAL from Massachusetts!!!!

    May 31, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Sydnium S. Washington

    @Michael It think it was an Obama heckler that McCain said as "Jerk". Either way, Romney's there.
    @Anti-Romney You are just swimming on puddles. GOP's already swimming on an Olympic-sized swimming pool, courtesy of Romney.
    My theory is maybe Romney's hecklers will be dragged away from the event and will be called as "Jerks" now.

    May 31, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Dejavu65

    Wow this shows that according to previous reports that Romney is a bully, will do anything to get elected, does not respects others, is still acting like the teenager who used to bully people, this guy is disgusting and can't be trusted he is desperate the middle class will find out the hard way if this guy is ever elected!!!

    May 31, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Why do Mittens and the GOP resort to these tactics?

    Because all of the economic, military and foreign policies Mittens and the GOP are proposing are PROVEN FAILURES.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    May 31, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. jake

    Hey Obama supporters. You claim that republicans cry foul when things don't go thier way. Well guess what your just the same of not worse. The backlash the Obama campaign has done against this only shows that they can give but they can't take. Your all a bunch of overly sensitive cry babies. Obama being the worst of you. The only thing he can lead in is crying and passing blame on others for his own missteps and mistakes. You follow suit because no matter how much you say others are blind sheep you are the worst of them all. You don't think for yourselves and you just bow down to Obama who only wants to force you into submission.

    May 31, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. wilnel1984

    You know, if you don't want the country to think that you are some arrogant, preppie who loves to berate people, then don't send your preppie minions to go berate people.

    This is just an act of a bunch of punks.

    By the way, I have no idea where Romney gets this idea that he has had this done to him. I Googled "Obama Supporters Heckle" and the first item was from 2008, against McCain.

    May 31, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. catt

    Please vote Obama out in 2012!, he is ruining this country !

    May 31, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Crooked Bridge

    Mitt Romney = Dead Zone movie character Greg Stilson.

    May 31, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. L. R. Long

    I'm sorry, ANY individual from the official Obama CAMPAIGN taken credit for a few SUPPORTERS did at a few Romney rallies? What a frat boy ol' Mitt is. If he was from Texas he'd be Rick Perry and Rick Perry is just a handsome George W. Bush.

    May 31, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Willard

    Yeap, Bishop, come to Michigan to see the payback!

    May 31, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  23. Blindersoff

    This guy Romney is a child. I can see him holding that poor defenseless boy down on the ground and cutting off his hair. What a wasted vote. What happened to the once great republican party of Lincoln? When you actually stood for something greater then yourselves.

    May 31, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Are we absolutely sure Mitt Romney has held public office before? Or ran a presidential campaign? These antics are juvenille beyond belief. There seems to be a discontent between Mitt Romney and the position he seeks to hold.

    May 31, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    Bishop, you are showing the country and the world what a pathetic little man you are. First your bus at the President's rallies now hecklers? HOW FREAKING OLD ARE YOU!!!???
    You think this is going to make you a bigi guy in campus? It's not.
    This isn't prep school where you bullied a gay student and now still laugh about it.
    Keep showing us, as if we didn't already know enough bad things about you, what a limp kind of man you are.
    BTW – were you leeting one rip is somebody's face? That's more your bully/fun way, isn't it?

    May 31, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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