Romney’s Comment Sparks ‘CookieGate,’ Democrats Add It to ‘Foot in Mouth’ List

By Alexa Keyes

Apr 19, 2012 1:42pm
ap romney picnic thg 120419 wblog Romneys Comment Sparks CookieGate, Democrats Add It to Foot in Mouth List

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

A local Pennsylvania bakery is having some fun after a jest from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a campaign stop Tuesday outside Pittsburgh.

The former governor met with local residents at an outdoor roundtable lunch in Bethel Park, Pa., during which he joked about a batch of cookies.

“I’m not sure about these cookies,” Romney said, and continued teasing a woman at the table: “They don’t look like you made them. No, no. They came from the local 7-11, bakery, or whatever.”

But the cookies came from Bethel Bakery, a local hot-spot since 1955.

“We are a local landmark in Bethel Park,” Julie Lytle, the bakery’s sales and marketing assistant, told ABC. “When we found out the governor was coming, we sent him cookies to welcome him. We didn’t realize what a big ordeal it was going to become.”

After locals expressed outrage through fiery comments on Twitter and the bakery’s Facebook page, on Wednesday Bethel Bakery launched a “CookieGate” special, giving away half a dozen cookies with the purchase of a dozen. The special has been a hit with customers, according to Lytle, and the bakery hopes to extend the offer through Friday.

“This definitely wasn’t out of anger,” she said. “We’re just trying to make light of it and have a good time.”

As for Mitt Romney?

“We’re hoping maybe the next time he stops in Pittsburgh, he’ll come to the bakery and try a cookie,” Lytle chuckled.

Margaret Chabris, a spokesperson for 7-11, also weighed in on Romney’s cookie comment, saying he was correct to believe the cookies came from one of their stores.

“Mitt Romney got it right,” Chabris told ABC. “There are 14 bakeries around the country dedicated to making fresh baked  goods every single day for 5,500 7-11 stores in the U.S.”

The Democratic National Committee has bigger ideas. They quickly jumped on the remark, insisting it added to Romney’s already lengthy list of “foot-in-mouth” moments. The DNC sent out a press release on Thursday about the “insult” and the local Democratic party chairman has promised to host a cookie taste test in Pittsburgh. Bethel Bakery cookies will also be served at the Allegheny County Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Dinner.

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