5 controversial quotes from Mitt Romney
From proposing a $10K bet to joking with unemployed voters
Mitt Romney's loose lips have again stirred up chatter this week, after a video emerged of the Republican presidential nominee at a fundraiser in May, where he made disparaging remarks about Obama's supporters and the Palestinians.
In the secretly recorded footage, released by the liberal-leaning investigative magazine Mother Jones, Romney is heard saying that Palestinians "have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."
He also derided supporters of President Barack Obama. Romney claimed that 47 per cent of Americans are on side with Obama and "believe they are victims," and thus are too dependent on government.
"My job is not to worry about those people," Romney said.
Though Romney's campaign has since tried to clarify the remarks or brush them off as comments made in jest, the video has reinforced his image as a candidate who makes eyebrow-raising statements — and not always in a good way.
Here are a few other foot-in-mouth Romney quotes.
Because Romney oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, the International Olympic Committee invited him to England for a special event in the lead-up to the 2012 Summer Games in London. When an interviewer with NBC News asked him what he thought of the organization of the London Games, Romney said, "It's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting."
British Prime Minister David Cameron took umbrage with the comment, saying, "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."
Offending the Palestinians
During a July visit to Israel, Romney tried to explain why the Jewish state was economically superior to the Palestinian territories. "Culture makes all the difference, 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."
Critics pointed out that trade barriers imposed on the Palestinian territories might also have something to do with the its economic inferiority. After the comment, Romney had to fend off accusations of racism against the Palestinian people.
In January, while making a case for why consumers looking for health insurance would benefit from companies competing for their business, Romney expressed his view in a way that he later admitted would "haunt" him on the campaign trail.
"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney told the Nashua Chamber of Commerce in New Hampshire.
A $10,000 bet
Prior to winning the Republican nomination in the summer of 2012, Romney took part in a December 2011 debate that included Texas governor and fellow Republican candidate Rick Perry. In a heated exchange, Perry accused Romney of backtracking on a previous statement in which Romney allegedly touted the Massachusetts health-care program he signed as a national model for health care reform.
A flustered Romney then made what critics called an outrageous challenge to settle the veracity of Perry's claim.
"Rick, I'll tell you what: 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet?" he proposed.
Perry declined, responding, "I'm not in the betting business."
A joke about being jobless
While addressing out-of-work Floridians at a rally in June, Romney attempted a bit of humour: "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed."
Critics felt this was a bit rich, not to mention disingenuous, coming from a man worth a reported $250 million US.