Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s first overseas trip since clinching the Republican nomination is already leading to one of his first overseas blunders. The candidate is playing damage control over comments he made in Jerusalem.
In a speech to donors at the King David Hotel, Romney said, “As you come here and you see the G.D.P. per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the G.D.P. 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.”
Critics took his remarks to mean that the cultural differences between Israelis and Palestinians are the reason why Israel has a much stronger economy.
But supports of Palestine saw this as a complete oversight of the fact that the Israeli government has imposed crippling sanctions and trade restrictions that have affected the Palestinian economy.
The Romney campaign swiftly responded to say that his remarks were “grossly micharacterized” and taken out of context.
Nevertheless, it isn’t what the Romney camp wanted to be focusing on. Romney has made a strong play to garner support among the Jewish community.
Via New York Times