Romney won’t call on supporters to stop heckling Obama events

Mitt Romney won’t ask his supporters to stop heckling President Obama and his surrogates at campaign events.

During a radio interview on Tuesday, the presumptive GOP nominee declined an opportunity to ask his supporters to stop, saying his campaign didn’t “believe in unilateral disarmament.”

{mosads}Team Romney drew flack last week after its campaign bus reportedly circled the site of the president’s economic address in Cleveland honking its horn repeatedly to taunt the Obama’s supporters.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith, on Twitter, blasted the move as “juvenile.”

“If campaigns are a reflection of their candidates, what do the Romney campaign’s antics say about Mitt Romney?” Smith tweeted.

Supporters of the president have, in return, begun heckling Romney during his five-day, six-state bus tour this week, disrupting campaign events in Ohio and Pennsylvania. But Obama adviser David Axelrod condemned the tactic on Twitter Monday, urging the president’s supporters to back down.

“I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt’s route. Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours,” Axelrod tweeted. “Let voters hear both candidates and decide.”

Axelrod himself was the victim of serious heckling during a recent campaign stop in Boston, where supporters of Romney taunted him during a live television interview.

The back-and-forth prompted Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday to ask Romney if he would urge his supporters to stop heckling the Obama campaign.

“I can assure you we don’t believe in unilateral disarmament,” Romney said with a laugh.

“I guess that’s a ‘no,’ ” Kilmeade responded, also laughing.

Romney then interrupted to say that he could be amenable to a joint call for better behavior from supporters.

“Bilateral disarmament, that’s a different matter. But unilateral, no way,” Romney said.

The former governor did acknowledge that it would be “a nice thing” if both sides backed down.

“I know America has a long history of heckling, of free speech, but it would be very nice if we could reach that kind of conclusion,” Romney said.


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