Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney has finally found something he can stand unequivocally behind: heckling.
Romney endorsed incivility in an interview on Fox Radio. When asked by host Greg Kilmeade if the Romney campaign would join the campaign of President Barack Obama in condemning heckling and crashing events, Romney demurred.
“I can assure you that we do not believe in unilateral disarmament,” Romney said. He added, “America has a long history of heckling.”
It’s unsurprising that Romney would choose to support heckling; his campaign itself engaged in it last Thursday, circling an Obama campaign event in the campaign bus and honking in an effort to disrupt a speech by Obama.
Romney has been on the receiving end of heckling too, but the Obama campaign has been blunt in denouncing it. In a tweet, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod condemned incidents of heckling, saying, “Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours.”
Romney chuckled when asked if a meeting with Axelrod could allow the campaigns to reach a détente.
“It would be very nice if we could reach that kind of conclusion. I’m not sure it’s possible, but it certainly would be a nice setting to reach,” Romney said. He stopped short of saying it was something he desired.
The Obama campaign blasted Romney for refusing to condemn hecklers. In a statement, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said,
We have sent a strong message to our supporters that this campaign should be an open exchange of ideas, not one where we drown out the other side by heckling and crashing events.
Campaigns are a reflection of their candidate, and Mitt Romney has a different view, endorsing heckling. With all that’s at stake in this election, Americans deserve better.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey