Mitt Romney attacked by irate passenger on airplane

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was assaulted on an airplane yesterday after asking a fellow passenger to raise his seat back before the flight took off.

Amy Sancetta/AP
Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, attend the short program pairs figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia, on Sunday.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney will not press charges against the assailant. Click here for more.

Mitt Romney's in the news this morning due to a disturbance on an airplane. No, he wasn't thrown off the plane for being too fat like film director Kevin Smith, but because an irate passenger took a swing at him.

Seems that Romney and his wife were flying back from the Vancouver Olympics on an Air Canada flight when the former presidential candidate asked the guy in front of him to raise his seat back before take-off.

According to Canada's Globe and Mail, the request enraged the passenger and he became "physically violent." Romney reportedly did not retaliate but let the crew take care of things. The plane returned to the gate and the man was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The man was in the wrong for reacting the way he did. We can all agree on that.

The passenger reclined his seat before take-off and the plane had left the gate. That's not allowed.

Once the plane reaches the appropriate altitude, of course, reclining is OK -- although depending on leg-room and the size of the passenger behind you a reclining seat can make things miserable.

By the way, Romney was not flying first class. He was in row 15 of a Canadian Air Embraer ERJ-190. That's the economy section.

As for legroom: According to SeatGuru -- one of the greatest sites on the Internet -- the row provides 33 inches. That's not bad. Not quite JetBlue, but better than many.

Romney is 6'2" and the flight time from Vancouver to LA is just over 2 1/2 hours. So, assuming the passenger kept his seat reclined during the whole trip, it would have been a bearable flight. Not optimal, but bearable.


Hey, we'll never take a swing at you. But if we do, we'll let you know about it beforehand on Twitter. So follow us!

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