U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Jerusalem July 29, 2012. UPI/Ronen Zvulun/Pool | License Photo
WARSAW, Poland, July 31 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's traveling press aide told reporters in Poland to "shove it," adding, "Kiss my ass."
Reacting to reporters' complaints about having limited access to the likely GOP presidential nominee, press secretary Rick Gorka told reporters outside Warsaw's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to "show some respect."
Reporters from CNN and The New York Times shouted questions at Romney as he headed toward his vehicle, asking him to comment on his controversial statements about London's preparations for the Olympic Games and his assertion Jerusalem is the undisputed capital of Israel.
When a Times reporter said, "We haven't had another chance to ask a question," Gorka shot back: "Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect." He then told a Politico reporter to "shove it."
"So it's official: Romney is leaving a 7-day foreign trip after answer only 3 Qs from the media," Times reporter Ashley Parker tweeted Tuesday.
Even Fox News' Greta Van Susteren has complained, comparing Romney's treatment of the press corps to a petting zoo.
"There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland," Van Susteren wrote on her blog. "We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can't help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us)."
"I think it would be smarter if they interacted with the press," Van Susteren told Politico. "What struck me is that when the candidate got on board, he never waved to the reporters in the back of the plane. Lots of times candidates will come back and talk. I was struck that there was no off-the-record chatter, not even a wave.
"You don't want the only story to be access," she said. "The story is now becoming access. The smarter move is to have the story be about the message."
Gorka later called reporters to apologize for his remarks.