Mitt Romney’s Offend the World megatour continued in Poland today, where the gaffe outbreak is apparently now contagious. Fresh off putdowns of the British and Palestinians, Romney aide Rick Gorka chipped in today by giving the press a lashing for … asking about all of the gaffes abroad. While leaving the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, reporters from CNN and the New York Times sent some questions in Romney’s direction, causing Gorka to snap, “Have some respect.” When a journalist noted, “We haven’t had another chance to ask a question … ” Gorka shot back, “Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.” Then he told a Politico reporter to “Shove it.”
CNN has a full transcript of the testy exchange, which included the press complaining that Romney has only taken three questions throughout his entire trip, all of which were at 10 Downing Street in London last Thursday. Yesterday on her blog, Greta Van Susteren wrote, “There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland. We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can’t help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us.)”
Soon after today’s freak-out, Gorka called two reporters to apologize for losing it. “It was inappropriate,” he said.
But that’s not going to salvage this disaster of a world tour, which is even pissing off Republicans at this point. Before today’s temper tantrum, a senior Republican strategist told the Washington Post, “I find this entire trip borderline lunacy,” adding, “Why on earth is he seeking to improve his foreign policy cred when there will not be a single vote cast on that subject?”
“[Romney’s] like the guy who is a competent-but-not-gifted athlete who learns to play golf,” said another GOP consultant. “He works really hard at it, and most of the time he’s perfectly competent, if not stellar. But once each round he is going to shank one and break a window on a house lining the golf course.” When a Republican goes for the bad golfer metaphor, you know things are ugly.
Update: Here’s CNN video of the “show some respect” moment.