- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
A comment made by Mitt Romney at a Jerusalem fundraiser, in which he attributed Israel’s high GDP relative to the Palestinian territories to the power of culture, has been getting a lot of attention. But those weren’t the only places he mentioned:
"And that exists also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador; Mexico and the United States," Romney added, before noting that culture "makes all the difference." It’s a point he consistently stressed on the 2008 campaign trail.
While poorer than the United States, Mexico’s actually been doing okay lately, when it comes to economic growth. It also seems a little odd, coming from Romney, that he would choose to attribute Ecuador’s poverty to cultural factors rather than political mismanagement — particularly that of leftist President Rafael Correa. I doubt, for example, he would ever say the same thing about Cuba — a country with a pretty similar GDP per capita to Ecuador.