ARLINGTON, Va.- He said he is “not very concerned about the very poor.”
He said, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”
He even said about local Pittsburgh bakery Bethel Bakery’s cookies, “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 7-11 bakery or whatever.”
But this past Wednesday speaking in front of high-dollar donors at the Ritz-Carlton, Mitt Romney may have made a mistake of prehistoric proportions. Poking fun at President Obama’s campaign slogan “Forward,” Romney quipped, “Forward, what, over the cliff?”
While President George W Bush may be choking on a proverbial pretzel somewhere, others didn’t seem to find Romney’s joke so funny. The organization Buffalo Field Campaign explains the term “over the cliff” is historically offensive to buffalo. Native Americans before the advent of horses drove buffaloes in mass quantities over cliffs to their eventual demise.
“We finally reached a point in this country where buffalo are making a come back and then a man of his position goes and makes a comment like that. It’s sickening,” said Shivon White, executive director of the Buffalo Field Campaign. “He didn’t say go forward to the gas chambers. He didn’t say go forward to the nooses. Why? Because he knew it would be politically unpopular. Why pick on buffalo?”
The American buffalo, which were hunted almost to extinction in the late 19th century by white settlers, have made a surprise comeback with a population of roughly 5,000 today. Due to what was once known as a buffalo jump, the Buffalo Field Campaign deems the term “over the cliff” offensive. A buffalo jump refers to when North American Indians would herd the buffalo and drive them in mass quantities over a cliff, breaking their legs and rendering them immobile while tribe members waited below to finish them off with spears.
“Did Mitt Romney study American history? You would think the time Mormons take to explain their theory about Native Americans being a lost tribe from Israel that Romney would have heard about the plight of the buffalo at some point,” said White.
“Hey Mitt, you can’t get a buffalo burger at the 7-11. You know why? Because there are only 5,000 left!”
Romney apologized for his remarks yesterday morning on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.
“I just wanted to apologize for my recent remarks in reference to over the cliff. I in no way intended to offend buffalo or the Buffalo Field Campaign, which works hard to protect the American buffalo every day. Buffalo are people too my friend,” said Romney.
Sources close to the Romney campaign say Romney originally planned to say, “Forward, what over a bridge?” But the comments were changed to “over the cliff” in fear “over the bridge” would offend those close to the late senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy with passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, drove his car off a bridge in 1969. Kennedy fled the scene while Kopechne was found dead inside the vehicle immersed under water. Kennedy was later sentenced to two months in jail for fleeing the scene.
“So the Romney campaign goes out of their way to protect a criminal, but not a buffalo? What’s next? Next thing you know the Romney campaign will blame poor people not paying taxes for the national debt,” said White.
11:30 PM Update- Romney late Sunday evening took back his apology to buffalo and the Buffalo Field Campaign. Pundits speculate Romney backtracked on his apology due to ranchers and farmers in Montana, who worry free-range buffalo, will affect their cattle with brucellosis, a disease that causes cattle to miscarry. Montana is a key swing state in the November presidential election.
Romney said late Sunday, “May buffalo burgers replace 99 cent 7-11 taquitos everywhere!”
Attempts to contact 7-11 for comment were not returned. Anonymous sources inside the GOP worry Romney’s recent comments may upset the Ron Paul supporters within the Republican Party, who generally like to eat taquitos after according to one source smoking a “fat” blunt.