Tension between Mitt Romney’s campaign and the press corps traveling with him abroad boiled over Tuesday in Poland, with reporters complaining about a lack of interview access and a Romney spokesman telling the journalists to “kiss my [expletive].”
Footage of the exchange shows reporters shouting questions at Romney as he was leaving the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.
“Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” one reporter shouted, referring to Romney’s remark Monday in Jerusalem about Israeli culture making its citizens more economically prosperous than neighboring Palestinians. Some Palestinian officials were insulted by the comment.
“Governor Romney, do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?” another reporter asked.
In London last week before he visited Israel, Romney was criticized by British leaders for his assessment of the city’s readiness to host the Games.
“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney told NBC News in an interview last Wednesday. “There are a few things that were disconcerting.”
A day earlier, an unnamed Romney adviser was quoted in a British newspaper as saying Romney’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” would give him an advantage over President Obama in relations between Britain and the United States.
Romney ignored the questions and strode to his motorcade.
Rick Gorka, a campaign spokesman, reprimanded the reporters for asking questions, telling them that “this is a holy site for the Polish people; show some respect.”
One reporter responded to Gorka by saying, “we haven’t had another chance to ask him questions.”
Romney has not fielded questions from the traveling press corps since last Thursday, when he was still in London, according to reports. He has not made himself available to journalists on any of three charter flights since then, including two that lasted more than four hours.
Gorka, once a spokesman for Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, told the objecting reporter to “kiss my [expletive]” and told another to “shove it.” He later apologized to both journalists.Callum Borchers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.