An adviser's vague remark to reporters here left the press scrambling for nearly three hours this morning to determine whether Romney had promised to commit American forces or other support to a hypothetical Israel strike on Iran.
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. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.
"When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government.
What's happening, here? Why can't Romney say anything right on this foreign policy trip, which is supposed to showcase his competence as a prospective Commander-in-Chief? Andrew Sullivan points to the latest thinking, which suggests that Romney's career experience is all about destroying relationships, not building them up. That's not the best skill set for a job that requires diplomacy. My theory is that Mitt Romney is entirely unlikable.