George Tsunis, managing director of Chartwell Hotels and a major fundraiser for Obama's 2012 campaign, has been pilloried by Norway's press after he stumbled over a question about Norway's Progress Party during his confirmation hearing last week.
Under questioning from Sen.
John McCain, R-Ariz., Tsunis seemed to be unaware that Norway's Progress Party -which has taken a hard line on immigration policy - was part of the government coalition.
"One of the byproducts of being such an open society, and placing such a value on free speech is you get some fringe elements that have a microphone, that spew their hatred, although I will tell you Norway
has been very quick to denounce them," said Tsunis
, who raised at least $500,000 for Obama's 2012 campaign according to the Center for Responsive Politics
A puzzled McCain stopped Tsunis
"I stand corrected and would like to leave my answer at they are -- it's a very, very open society and that most Norwegians -- the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don't feel the same way," Tsunis
Tsunis also stumbled during his testimony, when he referred to the Norway's president.
The country does not have a president.
English-language news site described Tsunis
as having "total ignorance of Norway" after his
Obama, however, is sticking by Tsunis