As it turns out, Mitt Romney’s trip abroad can get worse.
Romney is traveling with a large contingent of American journalists as part of his trip abroad, but so far he’s largely ignored them – he’s fielded exactly three questions from reporters during his week-long trip.
Given the relative silence, the media has no choice but to ask questions of Romney whenever he’s within earshot. For example, today Romney was walking away from Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland, and as he approached his car, journalists asked questions that the candidate chose to ignore. But the fact that questions were even being asked was apparently enough to enrage Romney’s traveling press secretary.
After several questions involving Romney’s missteps on the trip, including comments he made in Israel, Romney spokesman Rick Gorka shot back.
“Show some respect,” he said after being challenged for not taking questions, according to pool reports.
“We haven’t had another chance to ask a question,” a New York Times reporter said.
“Kiss my ass,” Gorka said back. “This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”
Soon after, the Romney aide told Politico’s Jonathan Martin to “shove it.”
It’s hard not to marvel at the combination of Gorka’s sentences. If it’s a Holy site and people should show some respect, why did he tell reporters, “Kiss my ass”?
Now, the point isn’t that Team Romney is wrong to snap at media professionals; reporters are adults and they can take it. The larger point is that the Romney campaign, with increasing frequency, is losing its composure.
We saw some of this two weeks ago, when John Sununu got hysterical, and we’re seeing it again this morning, with Gorka losing his cool with reporters who’ve spent much of the last several days with no access to the candidate, covering clumsy photo ops.
Gorka later apologized to the journalists, and that was the right thing to do, but the larger takeaway is that Team Romney realizes things haven’t gone well lately, and their frustrations are starting to show.