Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and presumptive is the right word in several ways since his gaffes during his so-called international tour are making him look like a real dolt when it comes to diplomacy and foreign affairs.
After putting is foot in his mouth in England, suggesting that the British had no clue in orchestrating the current Olympics, Romney outraged Palestinians during his visit to Israel.
They charged that his comments were “racist” and “out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.” The Romney promptly responded stating that his remarks were taken out of context and mischaracterized.
“As you come here and you the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” Romney said during a breakfast of prominent donors at the King David Hotel.
Taking umbrage at such conclusions was Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “It is a racist statement,” he began, “and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation.”
“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people,” Erekat continued. “He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”
Romney’s comments, said his spokesperson Andrea Saul, were mischaracterized, indicating that he was merely comparing countries in close proximity to each other, like U.S. and Mexico. “His comments were grossly mischaracterized,” she said.
The presidential contender had already infuriated Palestinians earlier when the noted that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.
It is easy to see that these comments are purposely stressed to shore up Romney’s standing with Israel and Jewish vote in November.
During his visit to Poland, and the last stop on the tour, Romney may have kept his mouth shut, but one of his aides didn’t. In response to a reporter, an aide told the reporter to kiss his you-know-what.
Ho hum, none of this comes as surprise for a campaign on the verge of imploding with each new venue, press conference, or fundraiser.