Politico's Evan Thomas: Media Imagining Supposed Romney Gaffes

August 3rd, 2012 11:34 PM

On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.

He concluded that "This is a convective thing that the press gets all excited about, but I don't think voters give a damn.

(Video can be found here.)

Thomas's rebuke of the media came after conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that Romney "did extremely well in Israel," in spite of media reports otherwise, and recounted to viewers that it was the primarily the Palestinian Authority's Saeb Erekat who complained about the GOP candidate's visit, noting the Palestinian official's history of making false accusations against Israelis, such as the Jenin massacre.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, August 3, Inside Washington on PBS:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, the London part he blew in an unforced error with this thing on the Olympics, but he did extremely well in Israel, and this idea that he made a gaffe by saying that the difference between the economic strength of Israel and its neighbors has to do with culture and he was attacked as racist.

The man who attacked him as racist is Saeb Erekat of the Palestinian Authority, last known for spreading the blood libel of the Jenin massacre, in 2003 I think it was, which never happened, and still lives in infamy. So he isn't exactly a great source.

And secondly, what Romney had said about culture is a direct echo of what was in the U.N. Arab Human Rights -- Human Development Report, written by Arab scholars, published in the U.N., which said the culture is the soul of develpment. It was nothing new, it was not a gaffe, and the press just ate it up.

EVAN THOMAS, POLITICO: But the whole idea of a gaffe, I mean, as Michael Kinsley said long ago, a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. It's obviously cultural problems that affect the Palestinians. Obviously, London was not ready for the Olympics, I mean-

GORDON PETERSON: He told the truth in London, too, actually.

EVAN THOMAS: I know, I think the public sees it that way. This is a convective thing that the press gets all excited about, but I don't think voters give a damn.