They say a man is known by the company he keeps, and the company that presidential candidate Mitt Romney keeps is alarmingly toxic. Romney is weird enough by himself; he sprays insults and condescension in all directions, scoffing at well-intended cookies while traveling in America, lecturing Olympics organizers while traveling in Britain, and denigrating Arab culture while traveling in the Mideast. But it is the stuff that comes from his entourage that’s really shocking.
“Romney advisers” and “Romney spokesmen” are quoted in the media as saying the most outrageous things. An adviser recently evoked the white-supremacist myth about America’s “Anglo-Saxon” heritage, for example, and a spokesman followed up with a pledge to support an Israeli attack on Iran.
Now, the Romney camp has hit a new low in scandalous slapstick.
Here’s what ABC news told us this morning:
As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions from the line where campaign staffers had told them to stay behind, prompting traveling press secretary Rick Gorka to tell a group of reporters to “kiss my a**” and “shove it.”
Who are these people, and why would anyone aspiring to the leadership of the free world associate with them?
And these are just the ones that make the news. The Republican presidential hopeful has gathered as scurvy an array of war mongers as ever existed. As The Nation’s Ari Berman pointed out in May, some 30 of Romney’s 40 identified foreign policy advisers worked for Bush, and most of them are neoconservatives who helped lie America into the Iraq war.
And if you need more clues to the foreign policies Romney would adopt as president, consider that former Vice President Dick Cheney is among his most enthusiastic backers. According to the Great Torturer, Mitt is the only candidate that can be trusted to make tough decisions.
And the admiration is mutual. As far as Romney is concerned, Cheney is a “great American leader.”
You might think it’s a stretch for me to link the foot-in-mouth clowns traveling with Romney to the Dr. Strangelove types lurking behind the scenes in Washington. But the way I see it, they’re birds of a feather.
The common denominator is the impervious insensitivity that accompanies total self absorption. They have no idea what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Indeed, they wouldn’t dream of touching some poor peon’s disgusting shoes. They’re far too special for that kind of thing.