Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
This Willard "Mittens" Romney sure is one ungracious guest. Remember awhile back at a campaign event when Romney dissed the host of his event for her choice of cookies?
"I'm not sure about these cookies," Romney told a woman at the table. "They don't look like you made them. No, no. They came from the 7-11 bakery, or whatever." Turns out, the treats that Romney "wasn't sure about" came from Bethel Bakery, a local favorite since 1955. CookieGate: Romney Cookie Comments Create Flood Of Business For Hometown Baker. Just eat the damn cookies and say "thank you," you ingrate.
A day after a campaign aide created a controversy suggesting that Romney shared more Anglo-Saxon heritage with the Brits than does President Obama (he's white, you know) One of the worst mistakes of Romney’s campaign - The Insiders - The Washington Post, Willard "Mittens" Romney insulted his Anglo-Saxon hosts at the Summer Olympics today. Mitt Romney tries to steer around Olympics controversy in London meetings - The Washington Post:
Mitt Romney’s [European Vacation] got off to a troubling start here Thursday as he tried in back-to-back meetings with British officials to defuse a controversy he sparked when he publicly questioned London’s preparedness to host the Olympic Games.
Romney, making his first foray on the international stage as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told NBC News shortly after arriving in London on Wednesday that he found the city’s final preparations “disconcerting.” The candidate, who ran the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, said of the London games, “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out.”
The comments drew a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday, on the eve of the Opening Ceremonies, and Romney spent much of the first full day of his foreign trip repeatedly lavishing praise on London’s Olympics effort at the beginning of meetings with Cameron and other top officials. [Romney's own "apology tour"!]
As the Olympic torch arrived in London’s Hyde Park on Thursday afternoon, Mayor Boris Johnson dissed Romney before a raucous rally of 80,000 people, saying, “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. He wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes we are!”
"Bugger off Yank!" Romney’s comments on the Olympics consumed the British press and overshadowed a day in which Romney had hoped to polish his diplomatic credentials and establish himself as a plausible potential commander in chief. Fail.
Then there was this bit of oddity:
Romney, meanwhile, passed on several opportunities to publicly articulate any specifics of his foreign policy. He told reporters he talked with British leaders about the global economy and the world’s hot spots — including Syria, Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan — but insisted that he would not describe his positions in public or private while traveling on foreign soil.
I have to agree with Greg Sargent at The Plum Line: "If a foreign trip is not a good time to discuss foreign policy, why take the trip at all? This raises questions as to whether the trip is only about staging political theatrics for a domestic audience." Romney: Foreign trip not the time to detail my foreign policies - The Plum Line:
“It does not make sense that one would go on an explicitly described foreign policy trip overseas and not discuss the details of what a Romney administration would do in the world,” Mark Jacobson, a senior fellow with the Obama-supporting Truman National Security Project, told me.
To be as charitable as possible, Romney may have conflated discussions of his own foreign policy with criticism of Obama’s foreign policy, which would violate longstanding norms against criticism of the president while abroad. But even read this way, the remarks are questionable — because of what his failure to make this distinction tells us about how he views the function of such a trip, and how it might be received by foreign audiences.
“There’s a fundamental distinction between not criticizing the president overseas and articulating to your audiences at home and abroad what a Romney foreign policy would look like,” Jacobson continued. “You have to understand the signals you are sending by failing to articulate details. Europeans are going to take away that what Romney is offering is going back to the first term of Bush. He comes over, tells the British they can’t handle the Olympics, and says, `We’ve got a plan for the world, we’re just not going to tell you what it is.’”
Romney has a couple more days to right things and to open up a bit about his foreign policy intentions, but this is a bad start. Romney has been criticized for failing to detail his policies, and for failing to say how they would differ from Obama’s. This trip was designed to demonstrate Romney’s comfort level on these issues.
Can Romney possibly screw up simply attending the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics? The Brits are going to be telling him "screw you, and the dressage horse you pranced in on!"
NOTE: For Twitter fans, be sure to check out the hashtag #romneyshambles, which is carrying a lot of updated coverage and commentary about the slow motion riot of Mitt Romney’s trip to London. (h/t Ed Kilgore at the Political Animal blog).
UPDATE: It looks like Mittens has a national security leak scandal of his own, and he is at fault. Steve Benen writes The Anglo-Saxon connection doesn't seem to be helping:
How badly is Mitt Romney's trip to the UK going? After this morning's difficulties, which were bad enough, the Republican presidential hopeful caused more trouble by acknowledging a discussion he had about Syria with MI6 -- which he really wasn't supposed to talk about.
[H]ow badly is Mitt Romney's trip to the UK going? This tweet comes by way of James Chapman, the political editor of the UK's Daily Mail:
Chapman soon after quoted another British source that said, after meeting Romney, that he's "devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity."
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Romney hoped this trip would make him look like a leader ready for the global stage. So far, it's making him look like he's nowhere near ready to sit at the big kids' table.
UPDATE: The Guardian now has a story about all of the Romney gaffes (with videos).