Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney admitted he is baffled by the fact that aeroplane windows don't open. Whether he is similarly troubled by the lack of a sun roof and trapdoor remains unclear [Reuters] Reuters

American presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been bombarded with mocking tweets for asking why aircraft do not have windows that open.

Speaking to an LA Times journalist at a $6m (£3.7m) fundraiser in California, Romney said his wife would have coped better with a recent flight scare if she had been able to open the window.

"I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. When you have a fire in an aircraft there's no place to go, and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open," said Romney.

"I don't know why they don't [open]. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous."

Aeroplane windows have to be kept closed to maintain cabin pressure and there is not enough oxygen in the atmosphere at cruising altitude for passengers.

Within minutes of Romney's remarks being made public, Twitter was flooded with jokes. One tweeter joked that the candidate continued by asking "why don't the plane's wings flap?" Another said: "I wish I could roll down the window on a plane too. I bet the breeze must be breathtaking. Literally,"

According to one particularly sardonic comment, "Governor Romney continued: 'Also, snakes. Saw this documentary about snakes on a plane. Could have been solved with opening windows.'"

The incident is the latest in a series of high-profile faux pas by Romney, who is still reeling from suggesting that 47 percent of Americans don't pay income tax.

The former governor of Massachusetts has also been criticised by David Cameron and Boris Johnson for comments made during the London Olympics, and his running mate Paul Ryan's healthcare policies have been condemned in an ad campaign by The Agenda Project.

Mitt Romney and the Long Line of Foot-in-Mouth Presidents and Presidential Candidates

Romney plane
Mind the gaffes: Romney seems to be aiming to emulate George W Bush, America's last Republican president and a man equally prone to faux pas [Reuters] Reuters