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 investmentā€¦," 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. w l jones

    Look like Arab spring have came to America.

    May 31, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. Pa Mom

    School yard bully. He can dish it out, but he can't take it. Do we really want such a childish person in the White House? I know I don't! The man is an absolute disaster!

    May 31, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  3. Dallas

    What a jerk. Is this someone we want as our president? I think not.

    May 31, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea that Romney has his campaign sending people to someone else's campaign is just so petty. He can't show up himself? Oh, that's right... He is complaining that a company went under. Isn't that he did while he ran Bain Capital? I guess he doesn't think that the US should be supporting American businesses and having a shot at the solar power industry.

    May 31, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. PJ/TX

    I missed one. Now we have five stories that include Romney's visit to Solyndra. Stop the presses!!!!! Romney
    went to Solyndra. Yawn.

    May 31, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. DENNA

    Why don't you send some friends to hold President Obama down and cut his hair? I understand that you have experience in that. You have no evidence that the hecklers were from the Obama camp, but hey, you don't need no stinking proof, right. Childish dipwad.

    May 31, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. ron

    Romney is an unworthy embarrassment of a candidate. The GOP is officially dead. All of the true republicans (who care about the future of our country) need to become independents...again... This slimeball has no class. Can't believe the GOP wants that "fraud...thing" to represent them for the Presidency of the United States!??!! No class. He can fool some of the people all time and all of the people some of the time. But, never all of the people all of the time! He's just blown his cover. Press is going to eat him alive for this stupidity!

    May 31, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. dnick47

    I would bet the hecklers were paid Republican operatives – remember Joe the Plumber!?!?!? The Republican must be great "B" Movie fans cause that's an old ploy – donning Indian costumes so you can hit the wagon trail then blame the Native Americans for it. Yes, I am sure they were paid Republican operatives. As far as acting like a jerk, recall that as a young man he cut the hair of another just because "he didn't belong" – ta ta peoples!

    May 31, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. NamryanIts

    So what's new? He's a bully, we already knew that!

    May 31, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. anthony78

    This guys immature and dirty.
    If stunts are all this guy has with no real solutions then this isn't who i want to represent my country or be leader of the free world.
    Where are the solutions? Where is the optimism and instilling of hope into the people if the country is as bad as they claim it is.

    May 31, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. CammieB

    I think its time for Myth Robbingme to throw in the towel and let his wife run in his place.

    May 31, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. Is Mitt a Git?

    I hope Romney continues to pick his battles in this manner–very excellent strategy!! He sent his troop of crap-fed lackies to heckle in Boston, MA, where he once governed. Wonder how they feel about their former governor stooping to such juvenile Rove tactics. I also wonder how Romney will feel when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts votes unanimously to give Obama a second term in November.

    May 31, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. Deb in MT

    Oh my goodness, but somebody certainly has a bad case of arrested development. Time to grow up, Mittens.

    May 31, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. DocHollywood

    This makes the story of Romney the spoiled bully in prep school more likely. Both are childish acts. Lord help us if he's elected president. If he doesn't like something, he'll probably give a national speech in which he will say he's taking his ball and going home.

    May 31, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. Roy

    Romney is still acting like a bully boy like he did in high school that he pushed one of the classmates.

    May 31, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  16. Roy

    Ask Romney if he is willing to donate all of his $200 to $300 million to pay off USA debt but he can keep his $10 million so in that way we can see if he truely cares about our country.

    June 1, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |

    This man Romney is a sicko! He is not someone that needs to be running this country!! He LIES so bad that its just Ridiculous!!!!

    June 1, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  18. Gezellig

    We want a leader, not a Nixon repeater.

    June 1, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. The Other Dale

    Romney, Romney, Romney, what are you thinking? You don't take personal responsibility for these type of things, even if you did have the bone-headed idea to do it. It just makes you look petty and unable to take criticism. This and the things he is saying now just to attract the money is really going to tear him down in the brief few months he has left. Who is running his campaign? Anyone? Sure doesn't look like it.

    June 1, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  20. enuff

    He hires people to disrupt then acts like his campaign is being stalked by Obama. sounds a bit like paranoia to me. i guess if the only way to get crowds at an event is to send them to Obama's and then hold a conference without telling anyone about it works for you...

    June 1, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  21. Susie

    I really don't think Romney sent "hecklers" to a Obama campaign event. He really didn't need to. With the mood of the country right now there are plenty of people out there who are ready to walk neighborhoods, call voters, do voter registration for Romney. Romney 2012!

    June 1, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. FRankly

    Romney is starting a dangerous game. What worries me are the few unstable folks who will show up in Tampa to "keep them Demon-rats in- line"....

    Add the Florida "Stand your ground" gun law and you have the makings for some real trouble.....

    June 1, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Marry

    Of cause, Gov. Romney thinks he should be the next President. Why? I think even he does not know. Surely not to make your live or the country any better! But, he will do and say whatever he feels it takes to get there!
    However, what is really important: Do YOU think someone as childish, corrupt and simple as Gov. Romney should be President? It depends on YOUR voteā€¦

    June 1, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  24. ff11chochol

    Wow, so if he thought Obama was inmature why would he do this? To show he is worth being president? Bad show of charector if you ask me, but you didnt it's just my opinion. Have a great day, thank you for reading.

    June 1, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  25. Thomas

    Once a bully , always a bully !

    Just like GW Bush suporters in Florida 2000 !

    June 1, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
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