Commentary: What Do Romney's Overseas Gaffes Tell Us About Him?

Mitt Romney

Commentary: What Do Romney's Overseas Gaffes Tell Us About Him?

Mitt Romney's overseas gaffes raise questions about his ability to ably serve all Americans and represent the nation abroad.

Published August 3, 2012

Well, that didn't last long. On Thursday an aide to Mitt Romney said that Rick Gorka, the traveling press secretary to the presumptive Republican nominee — made famous for telling reporters at a sacred memorial in Poland to "kiss his ass" and "show some respect for the holy site" — was taking "a break from the campaign trail." One day later, he's reportedly back.
Gorka's ironically twisted outburst bookended a series of missteps made primarily by the candidate during a three-nation trip that was supposed to make him look presidential. Unfortunately for Romney, words like "twit" and "not ready for primetime," were more likely to come to some people's minds after the candidate insulted the British and Palestinians.

Now that he's back on U.S. soil, Romney is working hard to keep the focus on domestic issues and memories of the gaffes made abroad may soon fade. But what won't go away is the nagging notion that the former governor and venture capitalist is so buttoned up, disciplined and scripted that he's unable to think on his feet, as it seemed when he questioned London's readiness to host the Olympic games.

But a comment made in Israel before a group of wealthy donors, when he suggested that "cultural" differences is the reason the "dramatically stark difference in economic vitality" between Israel and Palestine, seemed both racist and insensitive.

It also begged the question of whether the candidate thinks that low-income people in the U.S. are at the bottom of the economic ladder because they are culturally wanting or is he simply clueless about the facts of life for those who don't have his millions. Was he pandering to his wealthy supporters in Israel and at home?

Any of these propositions is scary because the nation cannot afford to have a president who is unable to nimbly handle delicate subjects both at home and abroad.

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(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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