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Romney Takes on Hecklers at Tense Maine Town Hall
National Journal ^ | Updated: February 10, 2012 | 8:28 p.m. February 10, 2012 | 8:21 p.m. | Rebecca Kaplan

Posted on 02/11/2012 12:26:38 PM PST by Red Steel

PORTLAND, Maine – Drawing on his by now well-honed debate skills, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Friday deftly put down an aggressive attack by a few hostile members of a town hall audience, who challenged him repeatedly on issues ranging from his overseas investments to his support for hydrofracking.

It was a rare bit of rhetorical chaos at a Romney event, which are typically as subdued as the candidate tends to be. But the former Massachusetts governor defended himself in a calm and concise manner, winning thunderous applause from the audience of about 300 people at several points.

Tensions rose during the second question of the hour-long event. “Do you think it’s patriotic of you to stash money away in Cayman Islands?” asked a woman, who was greeted by groans of disapproval.

“That’s OK, it’s a good question, come on!” Romney said. “I’ve got to take some shots now and then or it won’t be interesting.”

The multi-millionaire, who once ran a private equity firm, said he put his money in a blind trust and does not control investment decisions. “You might think you put your money somewhere else you don’t pay U.S. taxes? Of course you do,” he said. “I pay all the taxes I’m required to pay under the law, and by the way, not a dollar more.”

Shortly afterward, Romney’s remarks were interrupted by Steve Demetriou, who described himself as an independent voter from the Portland area. Demetriou criticized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the collapse of the housing market and also Romney’s criticism of the Dodd-Frank banking law that tightened regulations on financial firms.

“It’s my turn to speak, you’ve had your turn,” Romney said. “A lot of people were responsible for what happened to the housing market,” he said heatedly, and asserted that the Dodd-Frank law did little to curb abuses by the big banks. “Your friends the little banks are hurting. The ones that you’re unhappy with, the big banks, they’re smiling from ear to ear with Dodd-Frank,” Romney said.

As Romney launched into a discussion of his energy policy, a group of women began heckling him about his support for hydrofracking, a method of extracting natural gas from rock with pressurized water that has been criticized by environmentalists as a source of water pollution.

Romney cited the widespread use of the technique and said he hasn’t seen evidence of negative effects. At one point, Romney implored the shouters not to get angry, a tactic he once used on rival Rick Santorum at a debate.

The tension may have been spurred in part by the location of the town hall. Maine, though it has a Republican governor and Republican senators, has voted for the Democratic candidate in the past four presidential elections and the hecklers seemed to be liberal-leaning voters. Members of the crowd booed the protestors and yelled at them to “Shut up!”

At the event, Romney also waded into the political fray over the decision by the Obama administration today to require insurers, rather than private employers, to pay for coverage of contraception. The move reversed an earlier decision that would have required religious-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals, to provide the coverage, prompting an outcry from across the political spectrum.

“Today he did the classic Obama retreat all right, and what I mean by that is, it wasn’t a retreat at all. It’s another deception,” Romney said, arguing that that religious organizations still will have to pay for contraception after insurance companies pass the costs along to employers.

“Companies consist of people, and someone has to pay -- the owners, the employees or the customers, and they pass those costs on to the customers,” he said.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: mainecaucus; romney

1 posted on 02/11/2012 12:26:45 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

I am confused. How does a crowd of maybe three hundred have thunderous applause?


2 posted on 02/11/2012 12:31:29 PM PST by svcw (Only difference between Romney & BH is one thinks he will be god & other one thinks he already is.)
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To: Red Steel

Sounds like ‘staged’ hecklers to me. For the benefit of persuading us that know what a low life moderate/liberal he is. Notice the ‘hecklers’ presented conservative issues.


3 posted on 02/11/2012 12:35:29 PM PST by Outlaw Woman (When does the shooting start?)
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To: Red Steel
his by now well-honed debate skills, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Friday deftly put down an aggressive attack

[swoon] Romney is godlike in his awesomeness. Only Obama is more miraculous in the eyes of the press.

4 posted on 02/11/2012 12:35:49 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (I am pro-Jesus, anti-abortion, pro-limited government, anti-GOP.)
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To: svcw

Think about it . . . . the applause from a “crowd of 300” becomes “thunderous” when it is translated through the megaphone of a GOP Establishment journalist.


5 posted on 02/11/2012 12:37:22 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Outlaw Woman
Challenged Romney for his...support for hydrofracking.

They had to be liberal moonbats.

6 posted on 02/11/2012 12:38:47 PM PST by Rudder (The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
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To: loveliberty2

(make this a long drawn out) Oooohhhh!


7 posted on 02/11/2012 12:42:38 PM PST by svcw (Only difference between Romney & BH is one thinks he will be god & other one thinks he already is.)
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To: Red Steel

And Ann Coulter swoons as she rewinds her TIVO over, and over, and over...


8 posted on 02/11/2012 12:42:55 PM PST by mkjessup (Let's do to Mitt what his Irish Setter did to him while tied to the roof rack of his station wagon!)
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To: Red Steel
“Do you think it’s patriotic of you to stash money away in Cayman Islands?”

That is only one prong of the Obot strategy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

9 posted on 02/11/2012 12:48:05 PM PST by newheart (What this country needs is a good dose of bran. Attack Muffins Unite!)
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To: Red Steel

I wish someone would have asked him about his role in the housing crisis.


10 posted on 02/11/2012 12:51:09 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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11 posted on 02/11/2012 12:55:01 PM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Outlaw Woman
“Sounds like ‘staged’ hecklers to me.”

Sounds that way to me, too.

The press coverage seems just a little too effusive and the “protesters” sudden appearance just a little too contrived; considering there hasn't been anything similar before. So all this occurs just after Romney's numbers are starting to tank? Riiiiiiiiiight. (His internal polling must really be dismal to be forced to put on this kind of a stunt!)

12 posted on 02/11/2012 12:56:46 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

Precisely


13 posted on 02/11/2012 1:01:42 PM PST by Outlaw Woman (When does the shooting start?)
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To: svcw

Good question...I guess the sound of the applause is in the ear of the reporter.

Probably a guy from NATIONAL REVIEW.


14 posted on 02/11/2012 1:01:51 PM PST by kjo
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To: ClearCase_guy

[swoon] Romney is godlike in his awesomeness. Only Obama is more miraculous in the eyes of the press.
_________________________________________

Oh yes...

Whereas Obama merely walks on water,

Willie Mitty does Swan Lake in his tutu...

Oh Willie Mitty youz the cat’s magic undies...

Oh sigh oh me oh my

oh be still my tender young maiden heart...

wait ...

never mind...


15 posted on 02/11/2012 1:11:27 PM PST by Tennessee Nana (How does Romney avoid vertigo while executing so many pirouettes)
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To: newheart

Shouldn’t that say, “he’s not “quite” white”?


16 posted on 02/11/2012 1:15:12 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (Liberals, Useful Idiots Voting for Useless Idiots...)
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To: svcw

“I am confused. How does a crowd of maybe three hundred have thunderous applause?”

By applauding in a smallish venue that has hard, echoing surfaces, maybe? Natural reverb can quickly develop into a booming, rolling sound. Acoustical engineers can even design that feature into venues like basketball gyms.


17 posted on 02/11/2012 1:18:53 PM PST by Wombat Ark
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To: Red Steel
She lost me with her first sentence, “Drawing on his by now well-honed debate skills”. No reason to read any further.
18 posted on 02/11/2012 1:19:53 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (Liberals, Useful Idiots Voting for Useless Idiots...)
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To: Red Steel

Googled his name. Occupy Main comes up.


19 posted on 02/11/2012 1:23:11 PM PST by Mr. Peabody
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To: Mr. Peabody

http://portlanddailysun.me/opinion/story/occupymaine-overtaken-different-types-squatters


20 posted on 02/11/2012 1:26:05 PM PST by Mr. Peabody
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To: Kickass Conservative

You know the rule. It only takes one drop of non-white blood.


21 posted on 02/11/2012 1:27:19 PM PST by newheart (What this country needs is a good dose of bran. Attack Muffins Unite!)
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PLEASE DONATE TODAY


22 posted on 02/11/2012 1:27:39 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
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To: Outlaw Woman

smells like staged event designed to make Romney look good


23 posted on 02/11/2012 2:12:45 PM PST by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: Red Steel
The "staged event" excuse, huh?

Romney has plenty of faults, but when he has a few right answers, the "staged event" excuse is just pathetic.

24 posted on 02/11/2012 2:32:52 PM PST by muleskinner
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To: silverleaf

Well he certainly ‘looks good’ to somebody; he won the straw poll at CPAC.

The fix is in.


25 posted on 02/11/2012 2:52:57 PM PST by Outlaw Woman (When does the shooting start?)
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To: Outlaw Woman

The fix certainly is in.

There is no way that Romney should have won anything at CPAC.

He’s no conservative.


26 posted on 02/11/2012 2:57:33 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: Red Steel
" “Your friends the little banks are hurting. The ones that you’re unhappy with, the big banks, they’re smiling from ear to ear with Dodd-Frank,” Romney said.

Dodd-Frank creates the European situation, where the larger the company, the more they support government regulation. The larger companies can pay for influence and they can spread out the cost of the lawyers and compliance with regulations. Meanwhile the smaller companies enter an economic category known as "screwed".

27 posted on 02/11/2012 5:59:25 PM PST by LZ_Bayonet ( I AM THE TEA PARTY LEADER !)
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