Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings had a five-word summation of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s overseas trip: “not ready for prime-time.”
It’s an evaluation that’s not exactly unexpected, given the tough time Romney has had from the day before he arrived in London, when an unnamed adviser — later repudiated by the campaign — said that Romney, unlike a certain son of a Kenyan currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, understands the specialness of the “Anglo-Saxon” relationship. Next up: Romney offends the entire United Kingdom by telling NBC’s Brian Williams he wasn’t sure London’s ready for the games. Translation: Romney, who ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (or as British P.M. David Cameron calls it, “the middle of nowhere“) thinks he could have done better.
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Then there was Israel, where Romney’s team first angered the press corps by closing his big Sheldon Adelson fundraiser to reporters, then proved why it might have been better (for Romney’s dignity) to keep the cameras out, when he pandered to a crowd of Jewish donors by pronouncing their culture superior to that of the Palestinians, as evidenced by their richer economy — occupation and lack of what you’d call and actual “country” or “economy” on the Palestinian side notwithstanding. Romney later walked that back, too.
To Poland, where Romney got a pat on the back from legendary labor activist Lech Walesa, only to have the organization he founded, Solidarity, repudiate any knowledge of Walesa’s endorsement, on account of Romney’s attitude toward labor. Solidarity … is a labor union.
Oh, and one of his press aides had an epic meltdown on reporters.
Politico’s Roger Simon suggests that maybe Romney should have just stayed home.
Maybe. But just being in America is no guarantee against gaffetastic interactions with human persons, especially when you’re the guy who’s wary of ordinary people handing you cookies.
We’ll soon find out if home is safer territory for the former Massachusetts governor. Romney is apparently planning a swing states bus tour.
Follow Joy Reid at @thereidreport