At this point in the presidential campaign we know Mitt Romney is not necessarily at his best when interacting with audiences or reporters in unscripted appearances. Though the wonkish candidate can be an effective when he has the time to apply his formidable powers of analysis and management skills to a problem, speaking off the cuff can lead to trouble. It did this afternoon when a woman asking a question at a campaign rally said President Obama was guilty of treason and Romney failed to disassociate himself from the accusation.
“We have a president right now who is operating outside the construction of our Constitution,” the woman asked Romney during a town hall in Euclid, Ohio. “And I do agree he should be tried for treason. But I wanna know what you are going to be able to do to help restore balance between the three branches of government and what you’re going to be able to do to restore our Constitution in this country?”
While Romney later told reporters at the event that he did not agree Obama should be tried for treason, he did not say that when answering the woman with a response that centered on his reverence for the Constitution. This will allow the Obama campaign to hit Romney for refusing to put any distance between himself and those on the right with over-the-top views of the president. Rather than swiftly reprove the woman and tell her that disagreements on the issues should not be criminalized, Romney provided Democrats with some fodder for their effort to portray the GOP as a band of extremists. While this moment is hardly a major gaffe and was quickly corrected by the candidate himself, it does show once again that Romney is vulnerable when forced to think on his feet in public.