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When does an airplane become political?

By Katia Hetter, CNN
updated 3:19 PM EDT, Thu September 27, 2012
Ann Romney's plane made an emergency landing in Denver last week after smoke filled the cabin.
Ann Romney's plane made an emergency landing in Denver last week after smoke filled the cabin.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Obama critics connected an aborted landing in Ohio to the president's political positions
  • News of Ann Romney's smoke-filled plane brought comments about her husband
  • Hateful comments toward either presidential candidate "are just absurd," says one commenter

(CNN) -- Even a presidential campaign's airplane troubles can get partisan in an election year.

Aviation incidents involving President Barack Obama and Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have inspired hundreds of supporters commenting at CNN.com to connect those events to the candidates' political positions.

When the Air Force One pilot aborted his first landing in Toledo, Ohio, due to weather on Wednesday, commenters were quick to jump on Obama.

"See, Barack Obama can't even land a plane correctly," wrote a commenter whose handle is TheOtherBob. "He was probably checking the polls - thinks he has Ohio in the bag - no need to land," wrote another commenter.

"He was distracted, since he was busy adjusting gas prices over his smart phone," wrote another commenter.

President Barack Obama landed safely in Ohio on Wednesday after Air Force One aborted an initial landing attempt at the airport due to weather conditions.
President Barack Obama landed safely in Ohio on Wednesday after Air Force One aborted an initial landing attempt at the airport due to weather conditions.

Ann Romney's smoke-filled plane

Ann Romney couldn't catch a break, either. Her airplane cabin filling up with smoke due to an electrical problem was no laughing matter, but commenters quickly took aim at her husband and his response.

Mitt Romney talked about not being able to open the airplane's windows in flight. (New York Times writer Ashley Parker, who wrote the presidential pool report mentioning the comments, declined to comment on his remarks, referring CNN to a New York magazine piece where she made it clear that Romney was joking.)

"Maybe if Romney hadn't started the outsourcing trend, that plane would have been built and maintained better by hardworking 47%ers," wrote one commenter.

"Firefighters came to the rescue, paramedics were there on time and the police took special care of your security. We are the 47% your husband scorns," wrote commenter Kweso.

Reminders of the actual flying conditions

Enough with the political bickering, suggested some commenters. "The hate thrown out at the Romneys (and at President Obama) is just plain absurd," wrote commenter jolivier23.

On Romney's flight: "CAN YOU PEOPLE STOP WITH THIS CHARADE. Can you just be happy that the everyone was safe and no one was injured," wrote one commenter. "What is wrong with you people? Why are you making this a political issue? I am just glad nobody was hurt. "

On Obama's flight: "This incident with the President was just routine turbulence which is something that you really can't do anything about in the first place," wrote one commenter.

"If the one of the best pilots (and co-pilots) in the U.S. Air Force aborts a landing you know the conditions were hairy," wrote daehttub2000. Perhaps remembering a line from that esteemed television show "Hill Street Blues," he wrote, "Let's be careful out there."

Many of us have stories of grabbing a complete stranger or picking airline pretzels out of our hair after a particularly bad bout of turbulence. Do you have any stories to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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