Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Romney: success is dependent on it is not...yes it is....

PJ:  On Monday, at a fund raising breakfast in Israel, Mitt Romney's insulted Palestinians by suggesting that their culture is what held them back economically (as compared to the Jewish culture which has promoted their success):

Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. Romney's campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, 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,"

“Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said, repeating the conclusion he drew from the book, by David Landes. “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.”

By Tuesday morning, while in Poland, Mr. Romney, in an interview on Fox News, denied criticizing Palestinian culture...

"I'm not speaking about it, did not speak about the Palestinian culture," Romney told Fox's Carl Cameron, in an interview taped before the candidate's departure from Poland. "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."

...but his supporters on the right had already praised him for said comments:

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin praised his speech as "blunt and thoughtful,” giving the Palestinians a dose of hard truth about the importance of capitalism. 

“If this is the Romney we’re going to see during the balance of the campaign Obama is in deep trouble,” Rubin wrote. “This Romney is unapologetic.”

and this tweet from Romney supporterAri Fleischer
"Which culture considers it acceptable to name their schools and roads after homicide bombers? Israeli or the Palestinian?"

and in an interview on CNN former rival Rick Santorum had this to say:  

“I think the Israelis have copied — not copied, but used the example of the United States as a basis for their country,” Santorum said. “And I think what you’ve seen in the Palestinian Authority is not that. You see a society that is based on a very different set of values and structures and is not as successful. I think that’s the point he was trying to make.”

So by Tuesday evening Mr. Romney had no real choice but to pander once again to his base and reverse himself again in a most "Mitticulous"* piece:

Israel is also a telling example. Like the United States, the state of Israel has a culture that is based upon individual freedom and the rule of law. It is a democracy that has embraced liberty, both political and economic. This embrace has created conditions that have enabled innovators and entrepreneurs to make the desert bloom. In the face of improbable odds, Israel today is a world leader in fields ranging from medicine to information technology.

* 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. (

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