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Romney's cookie joke prompts 'Cookie Gate' attack

Romney, meeting with local residents Tuesday at an outdoor roundtable event in Bethel Park, joked about some cookies and launched yet another attack based on what critics call his aloofness to the daily lives of Americans.

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“I’m not sure about these cookies,” Romney said, and continued to tease one of the women at the table: “Did you make those cookies? You didn’t, did you? No. No. They came from the local 7-Eleven bakery or wherever.”

The cookies came from Bethel Bakery, a popular local spot, according to reports.

"We wanted him to be welcomed with the best in the 'burgh, and he had no idea," bakery owner John Walsh told the local ABC affiliate WTAE. "This guy has no idea how beloved this institution is that provided these cookies."

On Twitter, the hashtag is #cookiegate, and the Democratic National Committee was quick to make use of it.

The bakery is running a "Cookie Gate special" on Thursday, giving away half a dozen cookies with the purchase of a dozen. 

"I'm sure he meant it all in jest and didn't mean to slam a local bakery," Bethel Bakery spokeswoman Julie Lytle told CNN. "It's nothing that we want to get really upset about ... no reason to be angry. We're just having fun with it."

But Walsh had one zinger for Romney in The Wall Street Journal later, saying: “Let him eat cake next time."

It is not the first time Romney has been associated with Marie Antoinette. When he compared President Obama to the famously out-of-touch French queen last December, the DNC and Obama's campaign fired back separately, suggesting it was a "laughable" charge from a man who speaks French and is "a former corporate buyout specialist."

Romney's cookie comments will likely be added to a list of previous comments that raised eyebrows, such as "corporations are people" and "I'm unemployed."

But 7-Eleven, at least, accepted it as an innocent joke as well as a plug for the chain. 

“Actually, Mitt Romney got it right,” 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the Journal. “There are bakeries dedicated to making cookies every day for our 5,500 stores.”

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