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Romney: 'Culture' Club

Romney wrote an op-ed in National Review called, “Culture Does Matter.” That was just hours after he told FOX: "I'm not speaking about it, did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy that's an interesting topic that deserves scholarly analysis, but I actually didn't address that. Certainly don't intend to address that in my campaign. Instead, I will point out are that the choices that a society makes has a profound impact on the economy and the vitality of that society."

That FOX interview had prompted this AP headline: “Romney denies criticizing Palestinian culture.”

“Mitt Romney on Tuesday night doubled down on his argument that ‘culture’ has played a role in making certain societies more prosperous, comments that ignited a firestorm of controversy while he was in the Middle East,” the Boston Globe writes.

The AP compares Romney’s 2012 overseas trip to Obama’s in 2008: “The British were offended, the Palestinians accused him of racism and even in friendlier Poland, Mitt Romney’s union policies drew criticism from the current leaders of the movement that toppled Communism… Whatever the differences, the contrast between the two candidates’ foreign tours has been striking.”

Political Wire picks up this from Bloomberg: "Mitt Romney returns from an erratic, six-day overseas tour with no discernible boost to his foreign policy credentials, and facing fresh questions about his campaign operation as it enters a critical period.

"While the presumed Republican nominee's string of gaffes and international mini-incidents may not sway U.S. voters, whose chief concern is the domestic economy, it has reignited some Republicans' concerns that the troubles Romney encountered abroad are indicative of his campaign's weaknesses at home."

“The Mitt Romney campaign’s chief financial officer described himself as a ‘financial outsourcing consultant’ on the professional networking website LinkedIn until at least July 17, according to a cached version of his profile page, but has since changed the description to ‘political/finance professional,’” the Boston Globe reports. “The CFO, Bradley Crate, is also the founder and president of Red Curve Solutions , a Beverly-based financial management company that works with political campaigns, start-up companies, and nonprofit organizations.”

Romney and the RNC are up with a new ad hitting Obama, called, “Dream,” that hits Obama for auto dealerships that closed.

USA Today: “GM and Chrysler shut down 2,200 dealerships in an effort to cut down costs. More than 220 auto dealers are suing the Obama administration, arguing that their constitutional rights were violated when GM and Chrysler terminated their franchise agreements. … Chrysler this week reported second-quarter profit of $436 million. GM earnings come out tomorrow.”