His latest “why-do-you-say-these-things-out-loud?” moment stems from remarks he made at a fundraiser in Israel. While puckering up to wealthy Israelis via glowing endorsements of their government’s policies, Romney articulated his prejudice toward the Palestinians.
You notice a stark difference in economic vitality [between Israel and the Palestinians]. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.
In response, Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmed Majdalani noted:
The statement reflects a clear racist spirit. If Romney came here to rally Israeli and Jewish support in the U.S. election, he can do that without insulting the Palestinian people.
Watch Romney’s Israel trip here:
Critics may argue that accusations of racism have become too commonplace, but if someone is smacking you upside the head with their bias, we’d all be silly not to call them on it.
Instead of facing the backlash his comments have inspired head on, though,Romney opted to blame the media for his poor choice of words.
In an interview with FOX News’ Carl Cameron, Romney insisted that he wasn’t criticizing Palestinian culture:
I’m not speaking about it, did not speak about the Palestinian culture. That’s an interesting topic that perhaps could deserve scholarly analysis, but I actually didn’t address that. I certainly don’t intend to address that during my campaign. Instead I will point out that the choices a society makes have a profound impact on the economy and the vitality of that society.
Romney went on to accuse the media of creating a “distraction.”
This is the problem that comes with living in a bubble, where everyone in your vicinity is too busy lauding you instead of offering constructive criticism when need be.
Romney’s assertion that “culture makes all the difference” stems from a reading of “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” penned by Harvard professor David Landes. And when I say, Reading, I mean skimming a blurb on Amazon.com.
I’ll confess that I haven’t read the book. All I had to do was read the blurbs on Amazon.com. That was enough. Nations get wealthy, Landes contends, because their culture emphasizes “work, thrift, honesty, patience, tenacity, open-mindedness, and a commitment to democracy.
He’s now been to two countries and he’s had two countries where he has made a series of fumbles. He’s been fumbling the foreign policy football from country to country. And there’s a threshold question that he has to answer for the American people and that’s whether he’s prepared to be commander-in-chief. This raises some questions about his preparedness.
Or more bluntly: Mitt Romney isn’t very presidential and says stupid things all the time.
The former Massachusetts governor may not like that this is his reality, but he should stop blaming the media for creating it.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick