'Palestinians don't want peace' - Romney

Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 01:00

Republican Mitt Romney's reeling campaign hit more trouble today after a new video clip surfaced showing him saying that Palestinians do not want peace and a resolution of their conflict with Israel was not possible.

"I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way," Mr Romney said in the secretly recorded video of a closed-door May fundraiser in Florida.

The clip was shot at the luxurious home in Boca Raton, Florida, of Marc Leder, a private equity executive.

The camera appears to have been hidden behind a marble-topped sideboard and shows Mr Romney addressing at least half a dozen people who are sitting eating. Waiters, some wearing white gloves, serve the guests.

The video unleashed a fresh wave of criticism from some Republicans who were already frustrated by Mr Romney's failure to capitalize politically on a struggling economy and a high 8.1 unemployment rate.

William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, called Mr Romney's comments "stupid and arrogant." David Brooks, a conservative columnist in The New York Times, said he did not appear to understand American culture.

"It's what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney," Mr Brooks wrote. "He's running a depressingly inept presidential campaign."

The images are the second from a video of the event that was published by liberal magazine Mother Jones. Mr Romney was already in damage control from the first, which showed him describing President Barack Obama's supporters as victims who are too dependent on government and unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives.

"It's not elegantly stated. Let me put it that way," Mr Romney said at a hastily arranged news conference in California to respond to his latest stumble on the campaign trail.

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