Obama learns about messing around with Red Sox nation; Youkilis line becomes campaign fodder

WASHINGTON – Were they booing the president? Or were they “Youuuk-ing” him?

In a sensitive campaign season where every headline matters, it depends on who is doing the construuu-ing.

Let’s start with President Barack Obama, who was working for votes on Monday in Boston, the home territory of Republican rival Mitt Romney.

As he was just getting warmed up in a campaign speech, Obama uncorked something of a wild pitch.

He jokingly thanked the city for trading Kevin Youkilis – a gritty, beloved, core player for the Boston Red Sox for years – to Obama’s hometown Chicago White Sox this week.

The crowd began booing, in a loud but seemingly good-natured, defend-our-team kind of way.

“I’m just saying,” a smiling Obama told the audience at Symphony Hall. “I didn’t think I’d get any boos out of here. I guess I should not have brought up baseball. My mistake.”

When Obama ended the riff by conceding, “You’ve got to know your crowd,” he was rewarded with some laughter.

Someone helped him recover by shouting from the crowd, “We still love you!”

Not so fast, according to Romney’s camp.

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