Romney confuses "Sikh" with "sheikh"

Republican candidate misspeaks in tribute to Wisconsin temple shooting victims.

In a competitive field, this may be Mitt Romney's worst gaffe yet. Discussing the Wisconsin shooting last night, the Republican presidential candidate twice mistakenly used the word "sheikh", denoting an Arab leader, rather than "Sikh", the religion of the victims.

Speaking at a fundraising event in West Des Moines, he said:

I was in Chicago earlier today. We had a moment of silence in honor of the people who lost their lives at that sheikh temple. I noted that it was a tragedy for many, many reasons. Among them are the fact that people, the sheikh people are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith.

Asked later about the slip, Romney spokesman Rick Gorka explained: "He misspoke. It was the end of the day. He mispronounced similar sounding words. He was clearly referring to the tragedy in Wisconsin. You clearly heard him talk about it earlier today in Chicago."

Fortunately for Romney, his linguistic shortcomings didn't prevent him raising $1.8m dollars in the "most successful presidential fundraiser we have ever had in the history of the state of Iowa."

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

The New Statesman article that got Hillary Clinton up to speed on world affairs

It turns out the next Leader of the Free World (maybe) reads the New Statesman.

Hillary Clinton's released emails have shaken the political world. And one in particular has had a big impact – on the New Statesman office, at least. It turns out the next Leader of the Free World (maybe) learns about world news by reading the New Statesman.

While she was still serving as Secretary of State, in August 2010, her long-time adviser Sidney Blumenthal emailed her our article, "The military and the mullahs", written by William Dalrymple.

The New Statesman, "worth reading" since 25 August 2010.


You too can be as clued up as Clinton – and cut out Sid the middleman – by subscribing here.