You know what Mitt Romney hates more than socialism? Being interrupted. Romney's stump speech in Ormond Beach, Florida, on Sunday was interrupted by chants of "We are the people." Wrong! Real people don't interrupt speeches, according to Romney. He shouted back, according to the Los Angeles Times' Maeve Reston's report, “No, actually, these are the people. These are the people; you’re the interrupters. We believe in the Constitution. We believe in the right to speech. And you believe in interrupting. Take a hike.” This is not the first time Romney has been rattled by someone not letting him finish a sentence. Interrupting Romney is the quickest way to make him mad.
"I'm speaking! I'm speaking! I'm speaking!" Romney shouted at Rick Perry at a debate in October. "Would you, please wait? Are you just going to keep talking? Will you let me finish with what I'm just saying?" It was not one of his finest moments, and it ended with Romney putting his hand on Perry's shoulder, an amusing and surprising gesture to people from a certain part of the country, including Perry. You can see Perry's eyebrows shoot to the top of his forehead at that moment: where he's from, grabbing a guy's shoulder like that in the middle of an argument is what you do when you want to get punched.
It's not just his opponents' bad manners that makes Romney mad. He doesn't like being interrupted by non-people, either. In May, Romney was interrupted by fire alarms in Iowa. With a forced smile, Romney says, "My guess is that we need to exit the building? I presume… Oh they stopped it. Somebody went out the emergency exit." After only a few moments of silence, the alarms start again, and again Romney, smirking, looks for someone to blame. "Is this going to keep on going? Who -- who… ah? Who can tell us here what the circumstance is?"
Romney's events have been protested many times. But he can't quite get used to it. When campaigning with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie earlier this month, a ruckus in the crowd forced him to stop speaking. "All right, let's hear a cheer," he demanded of his fans so they'd drown out the protests. "You know it's wonderful to live in a country where people are able to express their views openly," Romney said, "We're happy to have you guys express your views next time try and do it with more courtesy."
In August, Romney got into a shouting match at the Iowa state fair. "Your turn has been heard! You've got your chance to speak I've got my chance to speak!" Romney said. But when the man tried to answer, Romney interrupted! "Who are you working with?" "MYSELF!" the man replied.
When Romney was announcing Sen John McCain's endorsement a few weeks ago, the event didn't go so well. "Excuse me! You had your chance. Let this lady speak," Romney said to a protester. But the lady didn't have a friendly question for Romney -- she said she thought he was too anti-China and that trickle-down economics didn't work for her. "For those who didn't hear, she said she loves this country, and don't put any Asians down," Romney said. "I haven't put any Asians down."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.