Romney spokeswoman defends comments amid Palestinian anger


Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 4:00 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A spokeswoman for Mitt Romney's campaign says his comments in Jerusalem today were "grossly mischaracterized."

Romney is being criticized by Palestinians for telling Jewish donors that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians.

An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says it was a "racist" statement -- and that in fact, it's only an Israeli occupation that has kept the Palestinian economy from reaching its potential.

But a Romney spokeswoman says he has made similar observations about other countries that are close to each other but that have wide disparities in income.

Romney has now arrived in Poland as he continues an international trip.

%@AP Links

147-c-16-(Amy Teibel, AP correspondent)-"the Middle East"-AP correspondent Amy Teibel reports that Mitt Romney has praised Israel but his comments are not sitting well with Palestinians. (30 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *147 (07/30/12)>> 00:16 "the Middle East"

056-a-15-(Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, in address)-"commitment to Israel (applause fades)"-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the United States will support Isreal in defending itself against any threat from Iran. (30 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *056 (07/30/12)>> 00:15 "commitment to Israel (applause fades)"

GRAPHICSBANK: Mitt Romney headshot, as US Republican presidential candidate, speaks in Jerusalem, Israel, graphic element on gray (29 Jul 2012)