Romney Claims He Never Said Anything about Palestinian Culture

In a super-snotty, smirky interview with Fox News’ Carl Cameron, Mitt Shady attempted to control the damage caused by his gaffe-tastic speech in Israel by telling a few of his trademarked bald faced lies. He claims that he:

“did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy.”…..“That is an interesting topic that perhaps can deserve scholarly analysis but I actually didn’t address that,” Romney said. “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.”


Talking Points Memo once again recounts what Romney actually said:

Romney’s insistence that he was not addressing Palestinian culture seems at odds with his lengthy and detailed speech at a fundraiser in which he offered up a direct comparison between the per capita GDP of Israel and the Palestinian territories before launching into an explanation of why he thinks culture and perhaps a little divine help are so important to the stronger Israeli economy.

“I was thinking this morning as I prepared to come into this room of a discussion I had across the country in the United States about my perceptions about differences between countries,” Romney said at the time. “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality.”

Romney grossly overstated the Palestinian per capita GDP (it’s about $1,500) while underestimating the per capita Israeli GDP (about $31,000), but the juxtaposition was clear as he segued into an explanation of his “perceptions about differences between countries” based on a Harvard history professor’s book.

“Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said. “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.” One of the additional factors he cited was “the hand of providence.”

Palestinian officials said Romney’s remarks were offensive not only because they implied the Israelis were inherently superior as a people, but because they ignored that the Palestinian territories have been under military occupation for decades and residents face major restrictions on their movement and ability to conduct trade.

Before you laugh hysterically, go over and read Charlie Pierce’s latest Romney post. Here’s the gist:

Romney continues to stubbornly refuse, in the face of a general outcry from within his own party, to release more than two years of his tax returns. He is the most easily mockable candidate in decades. (By contrast, it took real work, and a lot of money, to make John Kerry look ridiculous.) And, most spectacularly of all, only four years after the excesses of unregulated vulture capitalism nearly ate the world, stealing everything it could steal and wrecking what was left behind, with 25 million Americans either underemployed, unemployed, or vanished from the statistics entirely, the Republicans not only have chosen as their nominee a guy who made almost every dime of his money in the legalized freebooting that passed for a business community over the past 30 years, but also they have decided to run him as the guy who will fix the broken middle class, and return the country to full employment, by re-instituting all the policies that created the disaster in the first place.

And, by and large, it’s working.

As should be clear by now, the forces that make Romney a formidable candidate are far stronger than the forces that make him a ridiculous man. Nothing he does to embarrass himself in public is bad enough to overwhelm the power of what a truly remarkable liar he has become. No misstep is bad enough that it cannot be disappeared from our collective mind by a few dozen more commercials. The memory hole in this election is located in Sheldon Adelson’s wallet. His is the most purely cynical campaign in recent memory, selling to a battered economy the very policies that battered it in the first place, and doing so confident in the knowledge that the country has forgotten, or has become completely confused, about what was done to it. And cynicism sells best to the cynical.

Please let him be wrong!!

This is an open thread.

35 Comments on “Romney Claims He Never Said Anything about Palestinian Culture”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s the Fox News article. Apparently this was part of a longer interview.

    According to Romney his so-called “gaffes” are all the media’s fault. Gee, no wonder his press aide told them to “kiss my ass” and “shove it.”

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Financial Times: If you liked George W. Bush, you’ll love Mitt Romney.

    So Mr Romney has the beginnings of a case to make. The trouble is that the implication of his argument is a promise to return to the Manichean world view of George W. Bush – in which nations are divided firmly into friends and enemies of the US and policy is set accordingly.
    Mr Romney has already called Russia, America’s “number one geopolitical foe”, and promised to designate China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office – a move that could be a prelude to trade sanctions. In Israel, over the weekend, he came close to encouraging an attack on Iran.

    Those who yearn for a US foreign policy based on a Bush-style “moral clarity” and the confrontation of autocracies might thrill to all this. The implications are alarming, however: war with Iran, trade war with China, confrontation with Russia.

    Mr Obama’s emphasis on diplomacy, even if it is difficult, is preferable to a foreign policy based on biffing “bad guys”. Talking to the Russians and trying to avoid war with the Iranians does not mean that you lack a moral compass or are “weak”. It simply means that – even if you have no illusions about the regimes you are dealing with – you try to find ways of living with them, as long as they last.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Matt Miller at the WaPo says we need a new word for Mitt’s communication issues.

    Romney’s penchant for remarks and behaviors that are false, dumb, tone-deaf, ill-advised, pandering, implausible, awkward, regressive, out of touch or some blend of the above — and which unfold with no apparent awareness of their having the aforementioned qualities but instead are swiftly defended or sidestepped with an arrogance or haughtiness that compounds the offense — has brought us to the cusp of a linguistic breakthrough….

    What’s the right new word? “Mitticism” might be a serviceable noun, but it feels quaint and obscure. “Mittgaffe” has a fun ring redolent of “McNugget,” but it still misses. After all, we’re talking about a state of mind, a way of thinking (or not thinking), that goes beyond any single misstep.

    No, sometimes only a punchier adjective will do.

    I propose “Mitticulous.”

    Mitticulous means that what Romney does is thoroughly ridiculous yet in its own way very precise — that is to say, Romney is literally “meticulous” in his inanity.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Maybe we could call Romney’s incomparably conglomeration of missteps, MittShit

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    The Romney “I didn’t say that!” tour continues. Romney reminds me of the guy in New Zeland who put fireworks in his own buttocks and ignited them expecting not to be seriously injured. Really? Does Romney, the miscreant, ever pass his words through his brain before he utters them? Or is he one of those folks who has sh@t for brains?

    • bostonboomer says:

      ROFLOL! I saw that story about the fireworks. Sadly, Charlie Pierce may be right that Romney will get away with it. I sure hope not!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Oh, I forgot to check out Charlie during my morning reads. I need to go see what he has to say. Thanks for reminding me BB.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s in my post, Mouse.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Oh, I missed that was Pierce, I should have recognized his wit. I did go read the entire piece and as usual he is an excellent read, but like you I hope he’s wrong about Romney getting away with it.

  5. pdgrey says:

    I know this is OT but, this is so interesting on the birthday of Medicare. I had to share. And a very loud shout out to “Bill Keller in Hell” who won’t need this.

  6. pdgrey says:

    Well sorry but here is another OT, HT, Suburban Guerilla.
    “People look at Occupy Wall Street as, This is just a little kind of a disorganized joke,” he said, raising his voice. “If we take another 10 percent of middle-class America’s income, who knows what kind of other social unrest could happen in this country and the changes that could happen to our way of life?”

  7. pdgrey says:

    I was going to explain why I thought my two links for me were related. Because the “greedy, selfish, baby boomers” according “Bill Keller in Hell”. We, the geezers “now”, agreed when we were young, that our parents and grandparents were entitled to it. This is Johnson telling Bill Moyers his way to argue for Medicare.
    . . . My inclination would be . . . that it ought to retroactive as far back as you can get . . . because none of them ever get enough. That they are entitled to it. That’s an obligation of ours. It’s just like your mother writing you and saying she wants $20, and I’d always sent mine a $100 when she did. I never did it because I thought it was going to be good for the economy of Austin. I always did it because I thought she was entitled to it. And I think that’s a much better reason and a much better cause and I think it can be defended on a hell of a better basis. . . .

    • bostonboomer says:

      I totally agree. Thanks for connecting the dots to the Johnson/Truman story.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Breaking…. Boehner and Reid have reached an agreement that will fund the government through March 2013, so we won’t have to go off the fiscal cliff.

  9. pdgrey says:

    By the way I like back room brawlers.
    Johnson: I would be prepared to have nothing rather than not have Medicare. If you could put it on in the Senate-King-Anderson-I’d go to the Conference. And I’d let Wilbur (Mills) scare the living hell out of the doctors and everybody else, then he could come up with a compromise and say, well you can make your choice, between getting this extra money and having health insurance. And I think you would establish the first health insurance that way, if you could get it over. (O’Brien suggests the option of moving the Ribicoff provision in place of King-Anderson on the Senate floor.)

    Johnson: Well if you move that and get it taken out, you’ll have nothing to trade on. If you move with King-Anderson there you can trade for Ribicoff. . . . I’ll tell you this, Wilbur Mills will take your pants off unless you’ve got something that he’s got to trade for.

  10. pdgrey says:

    I think this is the reason Obama is in trouble. If you take away the investment of a home, ( and the smartest people in the world said it was a good investment). You don’t turn around and call them irresponsible. It”s like that stupid analogy. Your household budget is the same as the government budget. Yea, when I can print money or get a loan at 0% I’ll agree with you.
    Obama should have fired him two years ago. Was is so afraid to use FDR’S HOLC.

    Well I’m not finished, with my ranting today. I am so disgusted with the people of this country not understanding the importance of the United States Postal Service. They have been set up to fail, thanks 2006 congress. Keep privatizing America. Wait until you see the price tag. Or how far you have to walk, yea right walk to mail something.

    • janey says:

      I have to agree with your anger. Anger at stupidity. They want to get rid of Medicare so all those people will have to buy health insurance. They have no idea that most of those people will not be able to afford any such thing. Some doctors today can only barely afford health insurance for themselves and their families. They disabled the Postal Service thinking they could pick up the business from them after they fail, but how many businesses will set up in all those small towns all across the red states that are beginning to be populated in the majority by older and poorer people.

      • pdgrey says:

        exactly, jacey, It’s to close to voter repression. Believe it or not their are people still alive who do not have internet connection. They still pay bills by mail. Some rural areas the Post Office is a social hub. And lastly, (snark) but I really mean it, The Post Offices of our towns are historic, the art work alone should be enough.

  11. ecocatwoman says:

    Great news. There’s an octagon penthouse for sale in NYC for only $100 million. 6 bedrooms & 9 bathrooms. Sounds great, but I don’t like heights: Robert De Niro’s son is the realtor.

  12. pdgrey says:

    Zanax, 50 mg. the kind you take when the in-laws visit for more than a week. Call me Maybe?

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Has Steve King evah said anything worth listening to? I’m thinking it’s time to institute an SAT type test for political candidates before they can run for office. I have no doubt that Steve King would fail any test given him, including a blood test.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I woke up thinking about Steve King and how he’s a sign that the U.S. is devolving into savagery. With citizens like King–let alone officeholders–we can no longer consider ourselves a civilized country.

  13. Fannie says:

    Another damn Michael Vick who takes pleasure in torture and pain…………..this Steven King of Iowa has got to go…………….lets go bark up his ass………..and rescue the dogs from his jaws.

    • pdgrey says:

      I agree, but what about my medication? I’ve read to much crap today. By the way. I’ve only had rescue dogs or strays all my life. It’s a Betty White thing.

      • Beata says:

        How about a little peaceful music? 🙂

      • pdgrey says:

        Beata, oooooh I love me some Van Morrison. To bad for me I have to go to work now, look out fellow employees! I’ll save this great song for when I come home. Thanks.

  14. Fannie says:

    Nothing like capping the evening off with Van Morrison…………….takes me way back to him, and his stillness. I love all breeds, all of them.

  15. You can divide Americans up into those who know he is lying and those who are lying when they pretend to believe him.