“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? eight percent," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. "You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You're a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more. [...] Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to find and manage our health care costs."
As amusing as I found Romney's consistent displays of dumbness over the past few days, I could give him an infinitesimal bit of leeway with most of those gaffes (including the comment about the Palestinians), where reasons varied from tone deafness to possibly sinister political opportunism.
But here, we're dealing with a case of outright idiocy. I find it hard to believe that neither Romney, nor anyone from his campaign staff were oblivious to the fact that Israel had a socialized health care system. I mean, how the hell do you not? He was able to get some detailed stats on what percentage of their GDP costs come from health care, yet he couldn't get a single goddamned person on his team to check Israel's wiki page and skim through the section on health care? This rebukes his own (relatively new) stance that socialized medicine is the worst thing in the history of the universe. Seriously, how does one undercut their own argument for one of their major campaign planks so embarrassingly?
Of course, one of his own top advisers said that people are fleeing to Canada because the U.S. is becoming more socialist, so it could simply be a case of mistakenly thinking these people aren't idiots.
Oh, and just to make this all the more delicious, Romney said this on the 47th birthday of medicare.