Somehow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has developed a knack for hurling insults at the wrong people at the wrong time. This time, he's chucked one at his own potential voters and donors in California.
Speaking in Iowa Wednesday, Romney compared California's economy to Greece's economic crisis.
"Entrepreneurs and business people around the world and here at home think that at some point America is going to become like Greece or like Spain or Italy, or like California -- just kidding about that one, in some ways," he said, according to the Associated Press.
Aides came to his defense soon afterward, saying the candidate was only joking and has made the joke before.
But a spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown did not find what he called a "paper-thin Republican talking point" funny, saying that Romney “should get some better speechwriters who actually know what they’re talking about.”
Romney belittled California a few weeks ago as well. At a July 23 fundraiser in Irvine, he implied that the worst example for the nation to follow would be California's.
“How have the liberals done in California?," he said, the Orange County Register reports. “Do you want the same policies in Washington that you see coming out of Sacramento? With education, with the deficit, with taxes? Is that the way you want the country to go? I don’t know how anybody in California can keep voting for liberals.”
And although Romney may not have many voters to lose in California, there's always money to lose in the wealthy Golden State, even from Republicans. While Romney was insulting Democratic Californian politicians, even a Republican Californian could feel bruised by the affront.
Gov. Brown's solution to save what's been called the "first failed state," which has a $16-billion budget deficit, is a tax hike on the November ballot. If the initiative fails, $6 billion worth of budget cuts to state programs will go into effect.