Romney aide: ‘Kiss my ass’

Romney trips again on world stage; public opinion unchanged on guns; and other top Tuesday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, 2012 Elections, Israel,

Romney’s foreign policy detour: One wonders if Mitt Romney is auditioning for National Lampoon’s European Diplomatic Tour, as the candidate’s foreign policy foibles continued in Poland today when his traveling press secretary told reporters asking tough questions to “shove it.” “Kiss my ass, this is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect,” aide Rick Gorka told  reporters yelling questions at Romney about his numerous gaffes. Gorka later called two reporters to personally apologize, acknowledging, “It was inappropriate.”

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Romney also took some heat for reviving Cold War rhetoric in telling CNN last night that Russia is America’s “number one adversary.” He also praised Israel’s health care system, which is, while not quite socialized, sort of like a more robust version of the Affordable Care Act.

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No movement on guns: While the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has reignited the debate on gun control, the public’s attitude on the policy has not changed much, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Pew explains: “There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Currently, 47% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. That is virtually unchanged from a survey earlier this year in April, when 45% prioritized gun control and 49% gun rights. Other recent major shootings also had little effect on public opinion about gun laws.”

Part of the reason for this how Americans view the shootings. Two out of three, 67 percent, say shootings are just “isolated acts of troubled individuals,” while only 24 percent say “shootings like this reflect broader problems in American society.” If they’re not part of a broader societal problem, then there’s little society can do about it, people may think.

Barak hearts Barack: One of the goals of Romney’s international tour was to the highlight that the president has supposedly thrown Israel “under the bus.” How do the Israelis feel about that? Ehud Barak, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense told CNN last night that the U.S.-Israel relationship is very good. “I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past,” Barak said. “I think that from my point of view as defense minister they are extremely good, extremely deep and profound. I can see long years, um, administrations of both sides of political aisle deeply supporting the state of Israeli and I believe that reflects a profound feeling among the American people,” he added.

Elizabeth Warren’s debut: Massachusetts Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren will be given a high-profile speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next month. Former President Bill Clinton will get the keynote address, but Warren will speak immediately before him in prime time on Wednesday night. The move will likely please progressive activists, for whom Warren has been one of the country’s most exciting candidates.

Republicans moderates tire of Boehner’s Tea Partying: As congress prepares to vote yet again on abortion, BuzzFeed reports  that “moderate members of the House GOP conference feel that [House Speaker John] Boehner, who has struggled with an often raucous and openly defiant right wing, has forced them to go along with conservative demands but has provided them little in return.” Longtime Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, a close friend and ally of Boehner, abruptly retired yesterday, thanks to intraparty politics.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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