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Romney aides, Secret Service block press from event rope line
Made popular 374 days ago in
St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) – Press aides for the Romney campaign and a lone Secret Service agent attempted to physically block reporters from asking questions of the GOP contender along an event rope line in Saint Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday.
The brief altercation was captured on video by CNN. A spokeswoman from the Romney campaign later called it "an error."
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"We're not going to do this," Romney press aide Kristen Warren can be heard saying in the video as she held out her arms to prevent various reporters from approaching the rope line, an area where Romney was shaking hands with supporters.
In the video, Warren can be seen standing in the way of New York Times correspondent Michael Barbaro, Los Angeles Times correspondent Maeve Reston, and Politico reporter Ginger Gibson.
"This is for the Governor to talk to voters and when there's B-roll opportunities, we'll bring folks in," Romney's traveling press secretary Rick Gorka explained to CNN. B-roll is additional footage of a subject shot by television cameras in addition to a speech.
Minutes later, a Secret Service agent instructed reporters to move away from the rope line.
"Unless you're escorted by staff, you have to come off," the agent said in a separate video captured by CNN. The Secret Service does regulate the flow of journalists in and out of campaign events. But agents do not typically prevent reporters from working along the rope line.
Reporters eventually made their way within earshot of Romney. He did not answer a shouted question about the Obama campaign's latest attacks on Romney's business career at the private investment firm Bain Capital.
Romney has at times appeared frustrated with reporters' attempts to ask questions along the rope line. But on other occasions, the candidate has responded to such queries.
Late last month, Romney seemed eager to answer a rope line question about whether he would have ordered a mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
"Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," Romney quipped after an event in New Hampshire.
Prior to the St. Petersburg event, tension between Romney's staff and reporters had been building.
On the press bus en route the event, a Romney press aide instructed reporters there would be no questions for the contender.
Reporters immediately protested and part of the ensuing uproar made its way on to Twitter. "Press lead on the #Romney bus announces there will be no questions for the candidate today. "Isn't that our decision?" a reporter asks," tweeted Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Murray.
After the event, a senior Romney adviser acknowledged to CNN the rope line dust-up could have been handled better.
"I want to fix this," the adviser said.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul described the events as "an error on the part of the campaign staff and volunteers."
"We have reminded them that press is allowed on the rope line to record the governor's interactions with voters," Saul said in an email.
Secret Service spokesman Max Milien explained in a statement the service "does not restrict the movement of the press into general public areas or their movement within these areas."
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Does the Romney Campaign have a habit of dodging reporters' questions?
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373 days ago
Silly boy, Romney could not hold a candle to Obozo and his liar-in-Chief, Mr. Claire Shipman Carney in dodging questions and only calling on media who they know are wearing the Obozo knee pads.
373 days ago
@lastbaldeagle LMFAO :D
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