Mitt Keeps it Classy on Leno

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 19, 2008 8:33am

Takes the high road in describing the confrontation with AP reporter Glen Johnson, a tough and excellent reporter.

JAY LENO:  I’ve got to ask you something.  You had a run-in with an aggressive reporter yesterday.  Tell us about that.  Tell us what happened.  We’ll show the tape.

MITT ROMNEY:  Well, you know, it’s kind of a normal thing.  These guys have a responsibility to be adversarial, and, you know, we don’t treat them real well.  The guys that follow us in the Presidential race come in a whole group.  We put them in the back of the aircraft.  We feed them lousy food.  We wake them up early in the morning to go to events, and then as you’ll see in this clip, I think, we don’t give them chairs to sit on either.  So they have a tough go of it, but they’re doing their job. 

JAY LENO:  It’s interesting because, you know, the report said, "Romney loses his cool."  Well, I like it because it’s a real moment.  Take a look. 

(Clip shown — you can watch it HERE).

JAY LENO:  You know what I like about it?  I like it because it’s real.  I like the fact that the guy confronted you, and rather than just tell him to take a hike, you actually said you wanted to meet him later.

MITT ROMNEY:  Yeah.

JAY LENO:  Because losing it — see, my dad would deck people.

(Laughter.)

My dad was a prizefighter.  He bought a Wellpoint once at Sears, and it broke, and the guy yelled at my dad, and "Come here," and knocked the guy out.

(Laughter.) 

That’s losing your cool.  Have you ever lost your cool?  Have you ever just exploded at a guy?

MITT ROMNEY:  Absolutely, but not a reporter.  That’s sort of the end of the campaign when that happenw — or a voter.  You don’t do that — either one.  Sometimes the kids push me to the edge, but I learned not to lose my cool with the kids.

JAY LENO:  But is that the type of thing where advisors go, "Oh, my God, this tape is ugly.  You look like…"?  I think it helps because it shows — because everybody goes to the baby and the wave thing.  I like under pressure.

MITT ROMNEY:  I don’t know if it helps or it hurts.  You know, after a year of being out on the campaign trail, you just sort of do what you’ve got to do, and these guys have a tough job to do.  I respect the fact they’ve got to ask me tough questions and get in my face, but if I don’t agree, I’m going to come back hard as well.  That’s just the nature of the way it ought to be.

*

What do you think, vox populi?

- jpt

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