Mitt Romney Overseas Tour: “Kiss my Ass,” Romney aid tells Press, watch video here
Aug 01, 2012 11:13 AM EDT
To add to an oversea tour etched with one disaster after another, Rick Gorka, press secretary of the presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, went on to add to the plethora of negative headlines by telling the traveling press in Poland to "kiss my ass" and "shove it" after reporters attempted to question Romney.
The incident took place as the Governor of Massachusetts had just paid respects to a soldier's tomb in Pilsudski Square in Poland. As he was heading for his car, reporters shouted out questions regarding his comments on Israel's "superior culture," one reporter shouted "Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?" (CNNnews.com). As Romney walked along without paying any heed to the questions being thrown at him, his press secretary Gorka yelled back "Show some respect," (NewsDaily.com) to which reporters complained on not being able to ask the aspiring presidents any questions. Gork's response: "kiss my ass," and then he told another reporter to "shove it,"
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According to reports by CNN News, Gorka later apologized to the press for his rash comments.
The goal of Romney's four country tour was designed to showcase the candidate's ability in foreign policies and international diplomacy; however the plan seemed to back fire. It started in London where he was received with derision and anger. The reception he got in London might have been unexpected, but certainly not shocking. Given his comments in an NBC interview in which he said that London's Olympics preparations were "disconcerting" just a week prior to his visit, the criticism and derision he received from the British press, public and even prime minister was only natural. So his trip to London was a PR disaster.
Then he visited Israel, where Romney called the Jerusalem the capital of Israel and told Israeli that their economic progress can be owed to their superior culture. His comments were deemed racist by Palestinians and stirred huge controversy in the region.
Saeb Erekat, top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Washington Post, "All I can say is that this man needs a lot of education. He doesn't know the region, he doesn't know Israelis, he doesn't know Palestinians, and to talk about the Palestinians as an inferior culture is really a racist statement," as reported by the newspaper.
Even, Chicago Mayer Rahm Emmanuel, a Jewish American, seemed flabbergasted with the comments telling the Los Angeles Times, that he "made a mess of being a tourist" and that he fails at every level to "understand the political or intellectual basis," he went on to say "Part of America's role is to be seen as between the Israelis and the Palestinians as somebody that can be an honest broker. Mitt Romney just showed that under his administration he would never be able to assume that role for the United States," as reported on latimes.com
His last trip was a visit to Poland, where Romney received a warm welcome and matters seemed to pass without any controversy. Also owing to the fact, that president Obama is rather unpopular in the region, Romney was able to woo the Polish, but not without a slight glitch, when he was criticized for his Union Policies.
Now that Romney is back on American soil and ready to focus on the central point of his campaign - the economy, however he will not be able to avoid comparisons the media has started making with his trip to that of Obama's in 2008. On British newspaper according to NY Daily states anonymous British officials calling his tour a "a total car crash" and that he was "worse than Sarah Palin."
However, the focus of Romney's campaign has been the economy and his campaign was quick to bring back the discourse to the subject, reminding constituents that Romney's main focus to repair the economy first and fore most. It remains to be seen whether his overseas fiasco will make a difference to voters' opinion about the aspiring president.
Watch video coverage here: