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. Middle Class Independent Swing State Voter

    Tagg, we accept your apology. Now go away and take your lying father and his running mate with you.


    October 24, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Ron

    Talk about ridiculous. This is actually newsworthy? Gimme a break.

    October 24, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Critical Thinking

    All I can say to Tagg is, wait your turn in line. There are about 23 million americans out of work that deserve to take the first swings at this President.

    October 24, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Gigi

    Are you guys out of your mind? The only reason why Mitt becomes competitive is not because he has better idea, rather his color. Folks who hates to see a black man elected twice as President of the U.S. orchestrated a systematic movement to throw him out of white house. These hateful individuals do not want to see a blackman in the white house. Imagine what would be the reaction if it was a white man who captured and killed Osama bin Laden? Imagine what would be the response if it was a white man who take this country's economy out of the ditch? Please have some sense, if you caucus with Republicans and vote in favor of Romney, you will regret for doing so.

    October 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Vote 2012

    if Romney happens to win which he won't, I don't want my tax paying dollars paying the secret service to protect this thug mentality family, they can defend themselves anyway it's too many of them they travel like a pack of wolves, a waste of tax dollars paying the secret service following all of them around.

    October 24, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. KNells

    Tagg's action say a lot about his father's parenting skills which say a lot about his father's character. He is a former bully and he raised his son in the same manner. Do you think Sasha and Malia would have even thought to make a comment like that? Will Romney take his disrespectful, bullying to the UN Peace Talks, to the table with the world's highest ranking officials, to Congress? Didn't we get enough of the Presidential Bullying tactics from Bush? The real culprit for our country's deteriorating economic state and worldwide reputation. The funniest thing about these debates: Romney's plan to restore the US economically is estimated to take 8-10 years...but he continuously asks the President why he hasn't done it in 4?

    October 24, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. WhatNow

    I'm voting for Obama, but this was just silly. Does anyone really think Romney's son was going to hit the President of the US? Good for Tagg for apologizing. That was truly and act of a good person.

    October 24, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Catherine

    When I heard the 'threat' I didn't think it was serious. We all say stuff like that out of frustration. Nice of him to apologize.

    October 24, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Guest

    Only good people can apologize.

    October 24, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Patopretty

    Ex Gov. Romney called his sons liars during the 2nd debate, he said to the President: ..."because you repeat something many times it doesn't make it true.... trust me, I have 5 sons".
    Go figure this family.
    They sure have their own set of entitlements and rules.
    Rule #1: no rules apply to me.
    Rule #2: I can write and rewrite all the rules.
    Rule #3: make sure everybody else has to follow them.

    October 24, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. John

    If Tagg doesn't want his dad to be called out for untruths, he should tell his dad to tell the truth. My guess is this whole story was manufactured to shift focus from the more disturbing fact that Mitt said many things in the debate that just weren't true. Of course honesty would be a losing strategy for Romney- hey CNN!! Please try to focus on issues and not horseraces and theatrics.

    October 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. ruthgree

    I agree with Indy:

    After watching the debate again it was pretty clear to see that the entire debate was a scam and a fraud on Mitt Romney's part. Romney and the Republicans have been slamming the President on his foreign policy since day one and in an attempt to fool undecided and Independent voters Romney threw the debate on purpose.Almost every Republican including Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have mocked every move the President has made in the past four years and last night they set up a scam by agreeing with 90% of Obamas foreign policy decisions.How can anyone trust a scam artist like Mitts to run the free world,Bernie Madoff has nothing on Romney

    October 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Morning Joy

    If Obama looked like Romney,this would be a cake-walk for POTUS.He has done wonderful things for women,seniors,health care,the world respects us now (20-21 countries vote for POTUS) if they could vote. Romney reminds me of the shady car salesman selling you a lemon. This is a great car,take my word for it ,BUT,the hood is locked down,you can only see it after you buy it.I can respect a person who truly believes,and is wrong,but a lying core less, dishonest person who will deny that he has said what he said,and look you in the eye,is SICK,DANGEROUS
    Any woman, senior,medicare rec. social security rec. who lives in senior hse,who may need medicaid,is voting for Romney for one reason only ! Go figure !!!

    October 24, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. look at the two wessels

    you know obama is telling him anytime any where bring it son, cause I am bring it south side style lol

    October 24, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Ramana7

    I'm not any kind of Romney supporter at all, but I understood the original comment in view of a father/son relationship and being human. I never held this against him and I'm proud of him for apologizing, because it's also the right thing to do.

    It takes a better man to apologize, to admit wrong, to stand up and be responsible for your actions. Those who think it weak to apologize are themselves weak. These are democratic principles that should be included in both parties.

    October 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. NameDerek

    For as many tasteful coments that have been made from the republican camp an friends. there shouldn't ever be any distasteful thoughts from Son Rommey . when the Presisent is speeking the trueth about his Dad (cunfused M Romey)
    What will Mitt Romey say or take potion on next??????

    October 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. veronica jones

    I have no respect for Mitt Romney. He has no respect for The Office of The Presidency. So why should I vote to put him in it!!!

    October 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. ac130u

    Honest question, who would win in a fight.

    I know Tagg has the age advantage but how many fights does he have under his belt?
    The President grew up either in Kenya or Hawaii without a privileged upbringing.
    Regardless of where he was born he was also able to further develop his fighting skills on the mean streets of Chicago.

    So who would win?

    October 24, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. peace

    I want also Mitt Romney to apologise to American people for making everybody a fool. Keeping changing positions as if he is trying to see how people think. He should also apologise for not coming clean by hiding his Tax Returns. It was and still a big offence as he has shown a bad example of how people should behave.

    October 24, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. jack 3

    Any son would want to punch someone for insulting their parents.

    October 24, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Deb in MT

    @Indy: "...Romney and the Republicans have been slamming the President on his foreign policy since day one and in an attempt to fool undecided and Independent voters Romney threw the debate on purpose..."

    Or, as Jon Stewart put it: Mitt said "Follow me! I'm right behind the President!"

    How Mitt Romney avoids whiplash from his 180's is a mystery. I guess Mittens is Grover Norquist's dream candidate: a warm body that can hold a pen long enough to sign the Ryan budget plan.

    Tag Romney is lucky that President Obama has class and a firm belief in free speech. Can you imagine what would have happened if Tag had made the same remark concerning George W Bush? Tag would have been hauled off to Gitmo in the dead of night.

    October 24, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. NaTuRn3r

    Politics aside, apologizing was a class act. I can only imagine what these families are going through with all the negative ads portraying their loved ones as someone completely different than the person they know. Imagine overhearing a conversation where someone criticizes your parent, spouse or child. Now imagine that same criticism being broadcast to 7 BILLION people and having to be cordial about it.

    October 24, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Nik

    I have a cousin like that. Insult/defame/stupidity every family gathering and then comes APOLOGY. Almost every family gathering. Everyone hates him as Unreliable.
    Guess, what, If Romeny were to be POTUS, after four years, He will be apologizing to the nation and the world for ALL HIS FAKE PROMISES.
    We Can Not Afford That.
    Can NOT.

    October 24, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Culpepper

    Isn't making a physical threat on the President grounds for Secret Service interrogation ? They should have taken Taggy in for a litlle questioning. Also, how flippy-floppy of a Romney to apologize, Mitt has criticized the president time & again for "apologizing being a sign of weakness." I guess Mitt's rules for everyone else just don't apply to his own family.

    October 24, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. misfit

    by saying he wanted to knock out the president was a stupid thing to say. should that be considered a threat?

    October 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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