Entries in Mitt Romney (9)


Accused Cyberstalker Claims to Be Former Romney Campaign Intern

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GREAT NECK N.Y.) -- A man who claims to be a former intern for the Romney presidential campaign has been arrested and charged with cyber stalking and Internet extortion after he allegedly obtained nude pictures of 15 women illegally and threatened to make them public.

Adam Savader, 21, of Great Neck, N.Y., was arrested by U.S. Marshals Tuesday and booked into the Nassau County jail, according to a jail spokeswoman. He is being held without bail.

If convicted, Savader may face up to five years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Michigan, which is prosecuting the case.

According to the criminal complaint, Savader anonymously contacted 15 women via text message through a string of Google voice phone numbers. In his messages, he told the women -- many of them college students -- he had obtained nude pictures of them and threatened to send them to their parents and friends if they did not comply with his requests to send him more lewd photographs, the complaints states.

He reportedly proved to some of the women he had gotten a hold of their private pictures by posting them online to public photo sharing websites, the complaint stated.

He also threatened that he was going to send some of the victims' revealing pictures to the Republican National Committee, according to the complaint.

On his LinkedIn profile , Savader identified himself as a former vice presidential operations intern at Romney for President in Boston, as well as a special assistant to the chief operating officer of Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign in Arlington, Va. Attempts to verify Savader's titles were not successful, but his Facebook page includes photos of him with Romney and Gingrich.

"If we don't have a deal I will send the pictures to those people. Is that what u want? remember what's at stake. do u want ur family and everyone in DC to see ur [breasts]? Just agree to e-mail me a pic of u in ur bra [sic]," he texted one woman, according to the complaint.

Many of Savader's victims told authorities they had nude pictures on their personal email accounts that had been password protected, which Savader allegedly hacked into. Some said they received notifications that their passwords had been changed before receiving threats from Savader, the complaint stated.

Savader began contacting women from September 2012 to February 2013, according to the complaint. He allegedly used the alias "John Smith" to contact these women. "John Smith" never spoke to them over the phone, only through text messages.

Authorities were able to link some of the Google Voice accounts Savader used to his IP addresses and personal cell phone account, registered in his father's name, the complaint read.

The case was brought to the attention of the FBI by detectives from the Ann Arbor Police Department who received a complaint from one of the victims, the U.S. Attorney's Office news release stated.

At least four of the women attended the same university as Savader in Michigan, the complaint stated. Other women who were allegedly blackmailed by Savader lived in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Long Island, N.Y., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office's press release.

The criminal complaint against Savader was filed on April 17 by an FBI agent in Detroit. The warrant for Savader's arrest was issued on April 22, according to the court docket.

Attempts to reach Savader's attorney, Michael Soshnick, were not successful.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


How Jeremy the College Kid Got on the Stage With Obama and Romney

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Although most of us try to avoid telemarketers, Jeremy Epstein’s sister didn’t. She picked up the phone and was asked by a research company if she was a registered voter. She said no, but her older brother was. She handed him the phone.

That’s how Epstein found his five minutes of fame.

After confirming he was an undecided voter, the polling company told him he could attend the presidential debate on Tuesday and ask both candidates one question.

Luckily, Epstein, an exercise-science major at Adelphi University, is still taking unsolicited phone calls and that’s how ABC News found him. He picked up the phone at home on the first ring.

He remembered being very nervous when the cameras focused on him in the first minutes of the debate. He asked his question to Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.

“What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?” he asked.

Romney offered him a job on the spot.

“When you come out in 2014, I presume I’m going to be president,” Romney said. “I’m going to make sure you get a job. Thanks, Jeremy. Yeah, you bet.”

We asked him if he had other job offers considering how quickly his first one happened.

Epstein paused.

“Other than the one, really, that Mitt Romney offered me 5 minutes into the debate, not really,” he said. "You know, I don’t want to be viewed as just some person who went on TV in front of 60 million people and asked the two most powerful men for jobs. I asked the question because it’s how a lot of people in my position feel -- 20-year-old students just like me who are actually really nervous about whether or not they will get a job and how they can support themselves.”

He spent part of the day revising his resume. The debate experience is going to be the first thing prospective employers read.

“That’s probably going to go at the top -- actually my entire resume,” he said. “I think that instead of including my previous work history, I’m just going to write, ‘appeared and asked the first question on 2012 town hall debate.’”

But Epstein isn’t expecting to be part of a potential Romney administration. He still considers himself undecided but leans toward one candidate.

“Well, if the election was today, I probably would vote for the president, so I don’t know if you would call me undecided,” he said. “But it would be a good label to put me under.”

ABC News’ Jon Karl labeled Epstein as the real winner in the debate on World News. Does he feel like a winner and has it improved his social life?

“I found out on Twitter last night that I had a lot more cousins than I thought I did and people knew me who … I had no idea that they knew me,” he said. “People are saying that they went to sleep-away with me. I’ve never been to sleep-away camp. Stuff like that.”

He definitely feels like he won.

“Me being able to ask a question of the president and the governor, I think that’s why you’d be able to call me the winner of the debate,” he said, “because I think that they both kind of used me as a starting point in getting in their arguments.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In a provocative move within a religious organization that has sought to display strict political neutrality, an official of the Mormon church has disseminated a presentation across the key swing state of Nevada that urges members to vote and speak "with one voice" in the coming presidential election that pits Mormon Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama.

"Any Mormon would understand exactly what's being said there," said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth religion professor who has studied the church's handling of Romney's presidential bids. "This is very thinly coded language."

Mormon officials have permitted church leaders to encourage voting, but have stressed that it not be done in a partisan fashion. A senior church member emailed the presentation to Nevada "stake presidents" -- similar to Catholic bishops -- last month. The email was first reported last week by Jon Ralston, an independent Nevada journalist.

The roughly 30-minute PowerPoint presentation appears to have two goals -- to motivate Mormons in Nevada to register and vote in November, and to help them prepare for questions they may get as their church garners attention as a result of Romney's bid. Three of the 20 slides that were shared with ABC News pointedly urge members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to remember the "importance of speaking with one voice."

READ the POWERPOINT: Speaking With One Voice (PDF)

One slide includes voter registration data for Clark County, a jurisdiction that includes Las Vegas, where Democrats outnumber Republicans. Other slides appear to convey the stakes in the upcoming campaign, including one that espouses the need to restore a "spiritually dead society" and another that quotes a member of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles saying, "We are at war with the influences of Satan." ABC News has only seen a portion of the presentation.

Mormon officials told ABC News that the entreaty to "speak with one voice" conveys a desire to see church members provide consistent responses to questions from outsiders about church rituals and doctrine, and is not an entreaty to vote as a block.

"The Church has always encouraged people to be a part of the political process and to register to vote," said Dale Jones, a church spokesman. "However, we do not direct them on how to vote. We are politically neutral and do not support candidates or political platforms."

One slide in the presentation titled "Political Neutrality" explicitly notes this, stating that the Church's mission "is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians." The slide says the church does not "attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Church spokesman Scott Trotter, however, declined to respond to questions from ABC News about who prepared the presentation, how many church groups saw it, why details about it are being kept secret, and why a "war with Satan" was referenced in the middle of a presentation on the importance of voting.

Darren Littell, the spokesman for the Romney campaign in Nevada, said the Romney campaign has nothing to do with the "One Voice" PowerPoint presentation.

Edwin Firmage, a University of Utah law professor and expert on the separation of church and state, told ABC News the presentation appears to be aimed at helping mobilize support for Romney.

"I would say this isn't even thinly veiled," Firmage said. "Of course it's political."

Firmage, an Obama supporter, said he considered the presentation a departure for church officials whom he believes have shown "a great deal of discipline" in avoiding overtly political activity during the presidential contest. "They've been very adroit," he said.

The presentation includes several slides focused on religious teachings that encourage civic participation. One of them advises viewers that "We have a responsibility to vote," and quotes Mormon scripture as saying: "We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society."

The decision to distribute the presentation in Nevada was probably no accident, Balmer said. Among the handful of states that are considered up for grabs in the 2012 election, Nevada has the most vibrant Mormon community. Mormons represented roughly a quarter of the GOP caucus vote in Nevada in 2012, and nearly all of them supported Romney, according to exit polling.

Both candidates spent time in Nevada in recent weeks.

The slideshow provides advice about how to answer questions from friends and neighbors generated by news coverage on Mormonism in light of Romney's bid. The presentation points members to resources where they can find answers to questions about the role of women in the church, about the use of special garments, and about the central role of Jesus Christ in the church.

Near the end of the presentation, a slide poses the question, "So… What can I do?" It lists five answers, with step five being: "Register to vote … and VOTE!"

The Mormon church is not the only religious group to encourage parishioners to vote. For example, an Orthodox Jewish group recently organized a voter registration drive in Florida, and a coalition of black churches has made plans to transport elderly congregants to the polls in battleground states this November, according to published reports.

Balmer said the Mormon Church is well aware that Romney is likely to receive overwhelming support from Mormons, and so simply encouraging them to turn out to vote is akin to assisting his bid.

"On the face of it, there's nothing unusual in what they're doing," Balmer said. "But in reality, the message is not hard to miss."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secret Service Investigating Democratic Delegate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- New York delegate Julia Rodriguez told a reporter on camera that if she bumped into Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, she “would like to kill him,” leading the U.S. Secret Service to investigate the threat.

“We are aware of it and will take the appropriate follow-up,” George Ogilvie, spokesman for U.S. Secret Service, told ABC News in a statement Thursday.

Video surfaced Wednesday of a woman identifying herself as New York delegate Julia Rodriguez at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.  In the clip she said, “If I see him,” meaning Romney, “I would like to kill him.”

Romney, whose Secret Service code name is “Javelin,” has had Secret Service protection since late January.

In the video, Rodriguez says that she is originally from Puerto Rico but has lived in New York for 40 years. According to a list of delegates posted at, Rodriguez is from the Bronx.

She was also photographed Wednesday holding a Puerto Rican flag in a photo booth at the convention in Charlotte.

Attempts to reach the New York State Democratic Party were unsuccessful, and the headquarters’ voicemail was not accepting new messages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secret Service Detail Leaves Gun Unattended on Romney’s Charter Flight

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A member of Mitt Romney’s Secret Service detail was removed Wednesday from a campaign trip after she accidentally left her firearm unattended in the candidate’s charter plane bathroom.

The agent in question left a gun unattended in the bathroom of the plane during a flight between Tampa, Fla., and Indiana.  The gun was found by a reporter on board who immediately informed the agent, who then went back into the bathroom and retrieved the weapon.

Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service, told ABC News that officials are “aware of the incident.”

“We take the care and custody of our equipment -- especially firearms -- very seriously,” he said.  “We will deal with this matter internally and in an appropriate manner.”

The Romney campaign referred all questions regarding the incident to the Secret Service.

The gun was left in the bathroom primarily used by media in the back of the plane.  Romney and his staff sit in the front several rows of the plane and the candidate uses the forward bathroom.

It was not immediately clear if the gun was loaded or on a safety lock, but the agent was on active duty at the time of the incident.

Following a campaign event in Indiana, the agent in question never re-boarded the flight back to Tampa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Calls Mars Rover Team, Considers Mohawk

File photo. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The team behind NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover received a congratulatory call from the president today. Phoning into the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Obama told the technicians and administrators he “could not be more excited” about what they have been up to.

“Somebody asked me the other day whether you had already found Martians,” the president said. “I said we have to give you a little bit of time but we know you’re all hard at work and getting some well deserved rest after a successful landing. I just wanted to call and say congratulations to the entire Mars Science Laboratory team and really all of JPL.”

Obama would later tell those NASA employees, “If in fact you do make contact with Martians, please let me know right away.”

Several hundred NASA employees crammed a mission control center to hear the call. The president said their dedication had, “captured the attention, imagination of millions of people. Not just across our country, but people all around the world.”

Curiosity touched down on the red planet during the early hours of Aug. 6, executing what may be regarded as the most complex robotic landing ever successfully attempted in space. In what NASA had previously dubbed as “seven minutes of terror,” a complicated series of parachutes, rocket boosters, and a new “sky crane,” lowered the Mini Cooper-sized rover into the rust-colored soil.

Of 40 spacecraft sent to Mars from the U.S., Russia, Japan, and European Union, 26 have failed.

Obama said their “mind boggling” success in the operation — and its future scientific payoff — “embodies the American spirit.”

“Curiosity is going to be telling us things that we did not know before, and laying the ground work for an even more audacious effort in the future and that is a human mission to the red planet.”

The president thanked the team leaders present for the call, but had a special shout out for flight director Bobak Ferdowsi, whose Mohawk hairdo turned him into an internet celebrity this week when he was spotted by viewers of the landing.

“In the past I thought about getting a Mohawk myself,” the president joked. “My team keeps on discouraging me. Now that he’s received marriage proposals and thousands of new Twitter followers I think I may go back to my team and see if it makes sense.”

The president attempted to remind listeners of his administration’s dedication to math and science education, hoping it would inspire more young people to take up the pursuit of knowledge.

“We’re fortunate to be part of a society that can reach the outer planets; explore frontiers that were only imagined by our ancestors. So it’s inspiring to all of us.”

The president made the call from aboard Air Force One as he flew between Chicago and Omaha, Neb., on a campaign trip.

President Obama wasn’t the only candidate to praise the Mars mission today. Addressing supporters in Florida, Mitt Romney said, “We just landed on Mars and took a good look at what’s going on there.”

“And I know the Chinese are planning on going to the moon and I hope they have a good experience doing that,” he said. “And I hope they stop in and take a look at our flag that was put there 43 years ago!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Meets With Aurora Shooting Victim

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Mitt Romney met with a victim of the Aurora tragedy this morning prior to his event in Golden, a city just over 25 miles from the spot of the deadly movie theater shooting two weeks ago.

Romney told the crowd at a grassroots event there that he met with McKayla Hicks, a survivor who was hit by a bullet in the theater next door to the shooting, calling her a “Colorado girl with a big heart.”

“Across the country people are thinking about Aurora and the tragedy there and the lives that have been lost and the lives changed. We love you and we pray for you.  You’re in our hearts and you’re in our prayers,” Romney said to the crowd.

Romney is the first presidential candidate to hold a campaign event in the state since the shooting on July 20.

President Obama visited with victims of the shooting and their families, as well as local law enforcement officials, on July 22 in Aurora.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama: Health Care Law Is 'Here to Stay'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(MAUMEE, Ohio) -- Speaking at his first campaign event since the Supreme Court upheld his signature health care legislation, President Obama boasted that the “law I passed is here to stay.”

“I'll work with anybody who wants to work with me to continue to improve our health care system and our health care laws,” the president told supporters in Maumee, Ohio, the first stop of his two-day campaign bus tour. “But the law I passed is here to stay.”

The president also had a stern warning for Republicans seeking to challenge the legislation.

“Now is not the time to spend four more years refighting battles we fought two years ago,” he said. “Now is the time to move forward and make sure that every American has affordable health insurance and that insurance companies are treating them fairly. That's what we fought for. That's what we're going to keep.”

The president argued the law will “make the vast majority of Americans more secure” and touted its more popular provisions.

“We will not go back to the days when insurance companies could discriminate against people just because they were sick. We're not going to tell 6 million young people who are now on their parents' health insurance plans that suddenly they don't have health insurance,” he said.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he will work to repeal the president’s health care law if elected.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Says No Excessive Celebrating About Bin Laden's Death

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Monday denied Republican criticism that he has turned the first anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden into a pep rally for his reelection campaign.

It was one year ago that Obama announced in a televised address to the nation that U.S. Navy SEALs under his direction conducted a secret mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan to capture or kill the al Qaeda leader who had been hiding inside his compound for years, which was practically next door to the Pakistani version of West Point. At the time, Obama was hailed for making a gutsy decision that could have just as easily been roundly condemned if bin Laden escaped again.

Killing bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 attacks and other similar terrorist strikes around the world, has been viewed as a major blow to the al Qaeda network he formed, although U.S. law enforcement officials are in a state of heightened alert in the event bin Laden's followers attempt to exact revenge for his death.

Meanwhile, the GOP has gone on the attack in the past few days since a video produced by Obama’s reelection team intimated that Mitt Romney would not have gone after bin Laden if he managed to win the GOP nomination in 2008 and became president.

Responding to these latest charges at the White House, Obama said, "I hardly think that you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here."

With the first anniversary of Obama telling the nation that bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs on everyone's minds, the president continued, "I think that the American people, rightly, remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 citizens."

As for Romney's statement four years ago that "it’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," the president pointedly added, "I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him and I did. if there are others who said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, I’d go ahead and let them explain."

Asked whether the public should celebrate that bin Laden is no longer a threat even if al Qaeda still exists, Obama asserted that it was entirely appropriate to appreciate the work of the military that carried out the mission and the intelligence that located the al Qaeda leader's whereabouts in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio