Mitt Romney's bid for the White House is in trouble.
His earlier flip flops on issues both great and small (health care reform, gun control, abortion, his support for Ronald Reagan's policies, etc...) have been followed by a series of clumsy verbal gaffes.
The Republican presidential candidate's latest instance of foot-in-mouth was revealed this week when a tape surfaced of Romney speaking at a private event for donors in Florida.
Romney suggested Palestinians were "not wanting to see peace." At the same fundraiser, he referred to the 47 percent of U.S. voters who "pay no income tax" and "believe they are victims" dependent on government support.
Comments like those make you wonder. Are Mitt Romney's proclivity to inelegant speech inherited?
In 1967, Mitt Romney's father George, the then three-term Governor of Michigan, was interviewed on The Lou Gordon Show, a popular Detroit television program.
For almost a year, George Romney had been considered the Republicans' best hope for winning the White House. During the interview, Gordon asked Romney to explain his inconsistent position on American involvement in Vietnam. The elder Romney admitted to changing his position, and then -- letting his guard down on a TV show in his home state, said something he should not have said. What came out was a "you have to see it to believe it" moment.
Romney's admission that he had changed his mind -- that he had in effect flip-flopped, would not be as damaging as was the candidate's poor choice of words, "When I came back from Vietnam, I just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get."
Americans, apparently, don't like their candidates brainwashed. George Romney's campaign, which had then been polling ahead of Richard Nixon's, would never recover.
Will Mitt Romney's campaign recover from his latest gaffes? Only time will tell.
Thomas Gladysz grew up in metro Detroit watching the Lou Gordon show. Like Mitt Romney, he was born at Harper Hospital. Gladysz writes about books, movies and popular culture for various websites and blogs.