Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Thank heavens Mitt Romney is coming back to America.
After a jaunt abroad to three nations — Great Britain, Poland and Israel — he managed to offend, well, almost everyone.
In a trip that was supposed to reassure voters that a President Romney would perform well on the world stage, candidate Romney raised far more questions than answers. And if he’s stayed overseas much longer the State Department might have needed to put out some sort of travel advisory for Americans who found themselves in nations Romney turned hostile.
The trouble started even before Romney set foot on foreign soil. The day prior to his arrival in London, an anonymous quote attributed to a campaign advisor in a London newspaper said Romney hoped the visit the visit would build on the two nations’ “Anglo-Saxon heritage.”
In other words, let’s all celebrate our whiteness! Oy.
Then came a true palm-to-face moment. In an interview with NBC news anchor Brian Williams, Romney took the opportunity to question the readiness of the Olympics host nation. Several problems reported prior to the start of the games regarding a security contractor that failed to hire an adequate number of security guards was “disconcerting,” Romney said.
The subtext was clear: I once ran the Olympics and I sure wouldn’t have bollocksed it up like this!
British Prime Minister David Cameron retorted that it’s considerably more difficult to host the Olympics in the middle of a thriving international city like London than “in the middle of nowhere” (like Romney did). Of course, the prime minister clarified that his remark was in no way a response to Romney’s critique of London’s plans. And if you believe that, there’s some tea floating in Boston harbor I’d like to sell you.
Romney spent the next two days offering mea culpas, even admitting that no Olympics — not even the Salt Lake games — are perfect.
How big of him.
From there, he went to a fundraiser attended by bankers, several of whom work for Barclays, the bank accused of manipulating interest rates that led to more Britons’ homes being repossessed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Here Romney deserves something of a break. It isn’t his fault Britons aren’t as used to politicians taking campaign money from bankers who put people out on the street as we are here in the good ole’ U-S-of-A.
Once he was done offending all manner of British people, he went on to Israel. This seemed like an excellent idea considering how renowned the Middle East is for not overreacting to perceived offenses.
Speaking to a small group of wealthy Jewish supporters,
Romney waxed poetic about the differences between Palestinians and Israelis. In reveling in Israel’s economic success relative to its Arab neighbors, Romney noted “culture makes all the difference.”
Because, you know, average Palestinians don’t really want jobs or money or regular access to electricity, schools and medical care. It’s not in their DNA. T
hey’re losers, really.
He went on to grossly understate the economic disparity and mentioned nothing about the strict trade embargoes Israel has enforced, forcing Gaza and the West Bank into poverty as long as Hamas is the ruling political party.
With an eye toward making nice with rich donors and the hope of peeling away some of President Obama’s support among Florida’s sizable elderly Jewish population, Romne
y managed to offend a group that, if he’s elected president, he will at some point attempt to get to come to peaceful terms with Israel.
Predictably, the Palestinian government was none to pleased. A spokesman called Romney a “racist.”
That’s a tough charge to dispute. After all, Romney ignored piles of relevant, real-world facts — not to mention common sense — to instead write off an entire racial group’s problems to a generic lack of intelligence and motivation.
So now, Romney is headed back home. It’s tough to imagine this trip having gone worse. That is, unless he strapped the family dog to the
roof of his airplane.
Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.