Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama (Credit: Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- The Obama campaign is whacking Mitt Romney for something he didn't say -- to a woman who accused President Obama of treason.
During an event near Cleveland yesterday, a woman asked Romney if he thinks President Obama is "operating outside the structure of our Constitution," and "should be tried for treason."
Romney did not respond to the treason comment, but instead criticized Obama's recent comments on the Supreme Court -- drawing a rebuke from the Obama campaign.
"Time after time in this campaign, Mitt Romney has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.
She added: "If this is the 'leadership' he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him as commander in chief?"
Asked about the incident by CNN, Romney said, "I don't correct all of the questions that get asked of me.
"Obviously," Romney said, "I don't agree that he should be tried."
Reuters noted that the incident stirred memories of the last election: It was one of the defining moments of the 2008 presidential campaign: A woman at a rally for Republican John McCain, while asking McCain a question, called Democratic contender Barack Obama "an Arab" who couldn't be trusted.
McCain took the microphone and said, "No ma'am. He's a decent family man ... who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." McCain's response symbolized his discomfort with the volatile crowds he was seeing as his campaign faded during the final days of the 2008 race.