Mitt Scrambles to Backpedal on Palestinian Dig
'I didn't speak about culture,' he tells Fox
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 1, 2012 2:20 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2012 2:45 AM CDT
Mitt: I didn't mean 'cultural.'   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney tried yesterday to turn back the clock and erase the Palestinian dig that got him into trouble. "I'm not speaking about it, did not speak about the Palestinian culture, or the decisions made in their economy, " Romney insisted on Fox News after Palestinians complained his comments were "racist." Romney early this week noted the "dramatically stark difference in the economic vitality" between Israel and the Palestinians. "Culture makes all the difference," he said at the time. "I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," including the "hand of providence," he added. Romney also referred to the book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, which concludes that culture plays a key role in a nation's success, notes CBS News.

Palestinian culture is "an interesting topic that perhaps could deserve scholarly analysis, but I actually didn't address that," he told Fox before flying out of Poland. "I certainly don't intend to address that during my campaign. Instead, I will point out that the choices a society makes have a profound impact on the economy and the vitality of that society." A Palestinian official characterized Romney's culture comment as racist, saying Palestine's economy is so poor because "there is an Israeli occupation." Romney accused the media of harping on his overseas foibles to divert attention from problems in the US economy.