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Obama ticks off Poland

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By Doug Powers  •  May 30, 2012 11:56 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

With Biden taking the week off it’s nice of President Obama to feel obliged to pick up the gaffe slack, but it’s doubtful that even Joe would have been able to anger an entire allied nation:

US President Barack Obama’s description of a Nazi German Holocaust site as a “Polish death camp” shocked Poland, whose leaders insist the record be set straight 67 years after World War II.

Obama on Tuesday labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a “Polish death camp.” The White House later said the president “misspoke” and expressed “regret”.

The linguistic faux pas overshadowed Obama’s posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews.

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday Obama’s words had hurt all Poles and he expected more from Washington than just “regret”.

“I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman — a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors,” Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

“Today, this is a problem for the reputation of the United States,” the prime minister said.

Poland’s anti-communist icon Lech Walesa meanwhile termed Obama’s error a “golden occasion” to set the historical record straight.

The White House said Obama misspoke, but I’m not sure this can be easily attributed to an extemporaneous slip of the tongue. Watch the video below and you can see it looks as if Obama’s reading off a teleprompter, and if that’s the case, he didn’t misspeak but rather misread. The One’s brilliant young speech writers wouldn’t have made that mistake… would they?

Odds are the speech was loaded on TOTUS with the offending term and wasn’t caught on multiple levels before the speech. Smartest administration ever?

Update: Obama made no such mistakes when awarding this Medal of Freedom.

Update II: Would the MSM be referring to this as a “linguistic faux pas” if Bush had done it?

(h/t Twitchy — video h/t Allahpundit)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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