Romney Olympic Truth-telling Draws WashPost's 'Worst Week in Washington' Dishonor

"Someone should have told Mitt Romney that they still speak English in England," snarked Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza as he awarded Romney the "Worst Week In Washington" on Sunday for calmly laying out security concerns to NBC before the London Olympics -- concerns the networks themselves reported beforehand.

That matches the attitude that political reporter Philip Rucker brought to his Romney story's lede on Saturday: "Mitt Romney’s Friday was better than his Thursday. He did very little." Cillizza said Romney "seemed to be talking in a foreign language, politically speaking," and once again, the Post cited the "Mitt the Twit" headline:

Romney’s “performance” could well be forgotten by the time his European trip concludes with visits to Poland and Israel. But a headline that reads “Mitt the Twit” (as the Sun’s did) probably isn’t a good thing for a presidential candidate.

Mitt Romney, for losing something in translation, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

It's easy to be "lost in translation" when the translators want Obama to win really badly.

Rucker once again brought the hyperbole as to how damaging it was for Romney to tell the truth about Olumpic preparations:

Romney’s missteps have drawn extensive mockery in Britain and public consternation from both Republicans and Democrats in the United States, and his campaign advisers were at a loss Friday to put a positive spin on the story — other than to look ahead to the next two stops on his tour.

Romney arrived in London under a bright spotlight, as expected, but apparently without a strategy for conveying a message to voters back home — such as reminding Americans of his widely lauded stewardship of the 2002 Winter Olympics or promoting his foreign-policy vision.

As a result, there is now immense pressure on him to find better footing in Israel and Poland.

Rucker said Obama in 2008 brought better aides and was more prepared than Romney -- but he left out that Obama had an entourage of media sunshine-scoopers, while Romney's stuck with black clouds like Rucker, who had more doom to offer, even punishing Romney for declining to criticize Obama:

Meanwhile, despite his aggressiveness in a speech Tuesday in Reno, Nev., Romney has declined to criticize Obama’s foreign policy or detail any of his own proposals while overseas.

So in the absence of any new biographical narrative or policy pronouncements, the media coverage of Romney’s trip has centered on his Olympics gaffe — and the result has been brutal for the candidate.

Even some Republicans acknowledged the damage Romney’s comments had caused. “You have to sort of shake your head,” former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove said Friday on Fox News. But Rove said he did not think it was “a big deal,” adding that Romney “walked it back adroitly, but nonetheless the damage was done.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis