EUCLID, Ohio — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney didn't comment on a supporter's assertion that President Barack Obama should be tried for treason at a town hall event here.
A woman in the audience expressed dismay that Obama was "operating outside the Constitution," then said Obama should be tried for treason for violating separation of powers.
"I do believe he should be tried for treason," she said to applause from the audience.
Romney replied that "I happen to believe that the Constitution was not just brilliant, but that it was inspired, and so was the Declaration of Independence," avoiding the woman's comment.
He then allowed her to clarify what specifically she thought Obama had violated, and the woman proceeded to spout references to Executive Orders, including one that she said involved the Secret Service restricting the rights of citizens to protest.
Romney, who is protected by a detail of Secret Service agents, said "I will be happy to look at what he has done about the Secret Service with respect to protests."
The intensity of Republican hatred for Obama has put candidates in difficult positions before. In 2008, John McCain won praise for rebuking an elderly woman who suggested the Democrat was an "Arab."
Romney responded to reporters after the event:
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith responded:
“Today we saw Mitt Romney’s version of leadership: standing by silently as his chief surrogate attacked the President’s family at the event and another supporter alleged that the President should be tried for treason. Time after time in this campaign, Mitt Romney has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so. If this is the ‘leadership’ he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him as commander-in-chief?”