It looks like Mitt Romney just can't catch a break lately. Last week, he had several slip-ups in Great Britain and Israel. This week, he's facing a not-so-flattering magazine cover -- and all of it creates a big distraction that threatens to derail his presidential campaign.
The Romney campaign likely wanted his visit to London to be carefree and fun -- and the stop in Israel to focus solely on serious foreign policy issues, but staffers say he's been hounded by the media instead.
Romney was at a fundraiser in Jerusalem on Monday when he said Israel's economic advantage over the Palestinians was the result of a cultural advantage. That comment outraged Palestinian leaders who called the remark racist.
On Thursday, Romney called security and labor issues related to the Olympics disconcerting -- and that kindled a storm of criticism from British leaders and media groups.
Finally, the latest Newsweek magazine cover calls Romney a "wimp" and questions whether he is too insecure to be president in what is apparently a new take on an old cover featuring George Bush Sr. in 1987.
Romney supporter Andy Brehem says he thinks the press is picking on the conservative presidential hopeful, but he said that Romney's perceived strength on jobs and the economy are what will matter most on Election Day.
However, Heather Lamarre specializes in political strategy and marketing at the University of Minnesota, and she says that while voters may not be paying close attention to gaffes or misstatements now, they could come back to haunt Romney in the future.
"What it will do is polarize the electorate even more," she predicted. "If they have enough of these pieces, they can loop them together into a 30-second ad. It really can be problematic in the fall."
Still, Lamarre says it is possible that the statements made at the Olympics and regarding the Palestinians could help rally conservatives, many of whom have been cool to Romney so far but could get fired up by his tougher statements.
So far, it does not seem like any of the bad press is hurting Romney's ability to raise money. He reportedly brought in more than $1 million at the unprecedented fundraising event in Jerusalem.