Romney's son apologizes to Obama for 'swing' remark
October 23rd, 2012
08:34 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney's son apologizes to Obama for 'swing' remark

(CNN) – Tagg Romney, Mitt Romney's oldest son, apologized to President Barack Obama Monday for saying he wanted to "take a swing" at him during contentious presidential debates.

Obama and Tagg Romney were seen speaking on the stage after Monday's final presidential debate, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Two Obama aides said the conversation included an apology for the remark, made last week during a radio interview.

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Asked in that interview what it's like "to hear the President of the United States call your dad a liar," Tagg Romney joked about his fantasy response.

"Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him," he said. "But you know you can't do that because, well, first because there's a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because that's the nature of the process. You know they're going to try to do anything they can do to make my dad into something he's not."

"We signed up for it, we've got to kind of sit there and take our punches, and send them the other way," he continued.

One of Tagg Romney's brothers, Josh, downplayed the comments in an interview on ABC's "The View."

"That brother has slugged me a couple of times," Josh Romney said. "I'm sure President Obama has nothing to worry about."

Asked about the original comments on Thursday, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said Tagg Romney was "joking about how frustrating this process can be for family."

CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (1,021 Responses)
  1. Woody

    Had anyone else made that threat they would have been put into prison as threatening any president with physical harm is a crime even during an election and even if it is a presidential candidates family . He simply committed a crime and laughed it off apparently. Is he above the law ?

    October 24, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. It'sMe

    Just because he's the president doesn't mean people can't challenge him, or say anything against him. Last time I checked the president is still just a man. You get respect when you give respect, I don't care who you are. This president is a liar. He lied about all those promises he made.

    October 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Guest

    Maybe Tagg should've read his father's book, "No Apologies"

    October 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. independant voter

    Put a gun in the kid's hands and drop him in Afghanistan so he can blow off some steam. Ooops! I forgot the elite kids are never put in harm's way and their father's only send other people's kids to fight for their country.

    October 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. TheOriginalME

    Well, what else can you expect his Romney's son, like father like son. They both forget to turn on their brains before use their mouth

    October 24, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Name Roy

    This comment is a treat to national security, secret service should apprehend him.

    October 24, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Bob

    If the situation was reversed and one of Obama daughters was to say she wanted to kick Romney in the shins for calling out her Dad on his lies, would she apologize to Romney?

    October 24, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. HunterPSU

    That was funny comment by his brother...(the one that said he has been slugged and pres has nothing to worry about)...It was nice of the son to show loyalty to father and than apologize to the president for letting his feelings get the best of him...even though it was light hearted...Good family...Romney good father.

    October 24, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Jack Anderson

    The debate should be about the economey and jobs! Everything else in the world can wait ! Please comment if you agree.

    October 24, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Really???

    Obama continues to astound with his lies. Here are Obama's own words in 2006, brought to you by the letter "O" and the number "16 Trillion:"

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
    ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    October 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Edwin

    Why was this comment even news? The son of the other candidate wants to slug Obama because the comments are getting nasty... oh, no!

    If Tagg HAD tried to slug Obama, that would be news. But wanting to punch the president is not a big deal. I've wanted to punch a couple of 'em, and I'm not even related to a candidate!

    October 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Willis

    Romney's son being a class act and apologizing to the President for making a simple heated comment makes THIS much news here, whereas Obama being weak and apologizing to the entire world for America exceptionalism puts nary a dent in this "news" outlet's virtual presses?!!!! Whew. I'm glad I still have my eyes and ears these days. It's the only reliable news source anywhere.

    October 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. como1

    It is difficult to watch your father being accussed of murder (Soptic) and watch Stephanie Cutter deny her role in the accussation, watch the Obama Campaign call your father a liar and engage in filthy politics. An apology is a manly act, something that Obama and his people are incapapble of doing.

    October 24, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. AJK

    I'm impressed. I think we all should get along. The president is a great person that will win his re election. This country needs for all republicans and democrats to sit down and get to the bottom all this work the country needs to get done. I think the democrats will control the house and senate. I think we need to set an example for the young people and act like grown ups and not 2 year olds fighting over candy and running to mom and crying. This country deserves better!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Realist

    If Mitt would stop lying, he wouldn't put his family in such an awkward position.

    October 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Hugh Jass

    Saying he wanted to punch the President of the United States is bad enough; going on to say he didn't because of the Secret Service agents is just crazy. There went his political career in one soundbite.

    October 24, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. TommyNYC

    I respect him for apologizing, but even if he didn't apologize, there is nothing wrong at saying what he said. Saying "Take a swing" is not really a threat, it's just an expression of his feelings during that moment. He didn't go down to the stage and threaten anyone. Remember, in USA, we have something called "Freedom of speech" and "Freedom of expression".

    I am not a Romney fan, I support Obama!!!

    October 24, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Highly_Amused

    It is really no suprise that a known bully like Mitt would raise sons that seem to think violence is an acceptable option when things do not go "your way"!!!! The apple never falls far from the tree does it?...

    October 24, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. ross

    it is very sad to see a great nation like the united states go down a path with very high employment and a very high defict. i am a canadian and have friends that live in usa and they say it is geting harder ever day . its harder to find a job working partime there is no money at the end of mth. i am not realy into poltics but i was watching you debates. it was interesting. if your struggling know what will it be for the next 4 years scary. we have health ins up here in canada and paid by the candian goverment but let me tell your we pay for it big time in our income tax at a rate of 42% it is called ohip. if i where a betting man i would give some else a shot in the whitehouse. this guy romney sounds good and he is a buissnes man. i hope for all of you in the usa getback on track and have a prospers future.

    October 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Chilcat

    These poeple are so elite that don't even take names like normal people.

    October 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. A new start

    some how I cant see obama in a fist fight, he's more the stab you with a knife from behind type. But the Romney kid is a class act.

    October 24, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. john smith

    starting and running a national campaign is a ruff and complex ordeal ; underestimate the challenge, and you could find yourself with nightmares for long time......ask GOV Perry of Texas.

    October 24, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. A new start

    The romney kid is a class act, some how I dont see obama in a fist fight... he's more the ambusher type.

    October 24, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Harold

    I think Obama is in better shape than Romney's son, O probably would KO him with one punch.

    October 24, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Typical GOP/Tea Party bully boy tactic. Throw out red meat to the extremists and then give a half hearted apology that is too little too late.

    October 24, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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