After the worst savaging of an American by the British press since Jerry Lee Lewis brought his teenage wife/cousin to London, Mitt Romney decided his problem wasn’t that he was saying inane things. The problem was that people were writing them down.
So for its fundraiser Monday at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, Mitt’s team decided to break the precedent of allowing reporters into any fundraiser not held in a private residence. Reporters, many of whom had travelled 9,000 miles, were going to have to find something else to do as Romney mingled with donors holding US passports.
Expressions of outrage came swift and sharp. Reporters mocked the Romney campaign’s transparency and quickly assumed that he was going to say something so controversial that the backlash would be worse than the bad press from locking the press out. “If you were going to plan your war with Iran, would you want reporters there?” I wondered aloud.
For a campaign eager to shake the stink of gaffes, it was another misstep that threatened to foul the remainder of the trip. Sensing that they were a losing a press corps that already smelled blood after a weekend of #RomneyShambles, Mitt’s campaign quickly reversed itself and announced that reporters would be allowed to attend.