This, of course, comes as news to the Poles who suffered grievously at the hands of Hitler’s henchmen.
President Barack Obama got into a little hot water on Tuesday when speaking about Medal of Freedom recipient Jan Karski.
“Fluent in four languages, possessed of a photographic memory, Jan served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II,” Obama said. “Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement later that Obama “misspoke” when he referred to a “Polish death camp,” and what he was referring to were “Nazi death camps” inside Poland.
The burden of being the “smartest president in history” is that, well, you have to act like it. The president’s gaffetastic public appearances of late belie that moniker and show him to be rather (gasp!) ordinary.
Maybe he can convince the Polish government of his intellectual bona fides:
But the slip of the tongue had already caused some consternation in Poland, where foreign minister Radek Sikorski Tweeted: “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” according to BuzzFeed, which first reported the error. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was to make a statement Wednesday morning, Sikorski said. “It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”
No such luck, I’m afraid. The Poles see right through our scholarly president’s pretensions.
When a White House spokesman says the president “misspoke,” is he saying that Obama mis-read the teleprompter or some staff flunkie, who probably majored in Holistic Healing or something in college, got it wrong? The fact that the fact checkers and other vetters who are supposed to prevent this sort of thing missed it too does not speak well for the aggregate IQ of the White House staff.
Or the president’s knowledge of history.