Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the media’s focus on his alleged gaffes overseas represents an effort to deflect attention from President Barack Obama’s flawed policies.
The media reported Tuesday that Romney suggested Palestinians’ culture is inferior to Israeli culture. And last week in London, Romney seemed to question London’s readiness to host the Olympic Games. He just spent six days visiting the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland.
“I realize that there will be some in the fourth estate or in whichever estate who are far more interested in finding something to write about that is unrelated to the economy, to geo-politics, to the threat of war, to the reality of conflict in Afghanistan today, to a nuclearization of Iran," Romney told Fox News Tuesday.
"They'll instead try to find anything else to divert from the fact that these last four years have been tough years for our country."
At a fundraiser in Israel Monday, he cited the "dramatically stark difference in economic vitality" between Israel and Palestine. "Culture makes all the difference," he 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."
Palestinian leaders jumped on Romney afterward, with a top PLO official telling the Associated Press the remarks were "racist."
But Romney told Fox that his comments were misinterpreted.
"I'm not speaking about it, did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy," he said. "That's an interesting topic that perhaps could deserve scholarly analysis. But I actually didn't address that, certainly don't intend to address that during my campaign. Instead, I will point out are that the choices a society makes have a profound impact on the economy and the vitality of that society."
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