Sitting at a picnic table with four couples during a campaign stop outside Pittsburgh, Mitt Romney munched at some cookies donated by a local bakery and -- presumably in an attempt at humor -- said to one of the women at the table:
I'm not sure about these cookies. They don't look like you made them... Did you make those cookies? You didn't, did you? No. No. They came from the local 7-Eleven bakery or wherever.
This may have been a shot across the bow of cookie makers and cookie lovers everywhere, especially the popular Bethel Bakery that provided the offending cookies. It may also be the first shot in a War on Cookies as a possible follow-up to the War on Moms.
It could also develop into a full-fledged CookieGate.
The cookies, in fact, were donated from the popular Bethel Bakery around the corner from the community center, and once Mr. Romney's comment was broadcast on local airwaves offended residents took to Facebook and Twitter to complain. The episode was inevitably called "CookieGate." The bakery is offering a CookieGate special Wednesday and Thursday: free half dozen cookies with every dozen purchased.
"Initially, we were incensed that he would think that Bethel Bakery is comparable to the 7-Eleven," said bakery owner John Walsh, a Republican. Mr. Walsh, whose parents opened the bakery in 1955, said he thinks the comment was made in jest and would like Gov. Romney to try the bakery's offerings in the future.
But some bitterness remained. "Let him eat cake next time," Mr. Walsh said.
On the other hand, one person's trash is another's treasure:
Margaret Chabris, a 7-Eleven spokeswoman, said people at the company got "a chuckle" out of the incident and didn't take Mr. Romney's remarks as being critical of the chain. "Actually Mitt Romney got it right," she said. "There are bakeries dedicated to making cookies every day for our 5,500 stores."
Stay tuned for continued coverage of the "Cookie Wars" and every other war in this election year.