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Mitt Romney’s World Tour: Success Or Disaster?

Posted on the 01 August 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Was GOP candidate Mitt Romney's world tour a success Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

The background

Mitt Romney hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons during his first foreign tour as Republican presidential candidate. The former Massachusetts governor began by questioning London’s readiness to host the Olympics, two days before the opening ceremony. Romney then apparently forgot Labour leader Ed Miliband’s name, before riling Palestinian officials by declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. To top it all off, Romney spokesman Rick Gorka told reporters to “Kiss my ass” during a trip to Poland.

Nevertheless, despite the negative press, some commentators argued that Romney’s world tour went pretty well.

Read more about Romney’s London 2012 gaffe at The Periscope Post.

Romney’s trip was essentially successful

“All in all, the Romney campaign came up with a pretty fair foreign strategy, and the candidate – though wooden and ham-handed as ever – came through pretty much unscathed,” wrote Thomas Fleming in The Daily Mail. The national press may have attacked him, “but they would attack him if he healed the sick, raised the dead, and rescued the American economy” – and anyway, the media doesn’t control elections in America.

A ‘week from hell’ but politically unimportant

“Read the headlines and it was the candidate’s foreign trip from hell: a succession of mishaps capped by an expletive-laden tirade from an exasperated aide to an equally exasperated group of traveling reporters,” wrote Rupert Cornwell in The Independent. But, said Cornwell, the political fall-out for Romney is likely to be small. ”Foreign policy issues do not decide US elections. This year that is truer than ever, with high unemployment and a sluggish economy the overriding concern for voters,” wrote Cornwell.

Gaffes show Romney’s weakness

“Mitt’s golden gaffes in London manifest not only his incapacity abroad, but his lack of sound instinct—of the qualities that are the bedrock of the hardest presidential decisions,” wrote Robert Shrum at The Daily Beast. The Romney campaign may be trying to spin the errors made on the trip by insisting “American voters don’t care what foreigners think”, but this misses the point; voters “do care whether an American president can think on his feet—or thinks before he speaks”.

No substance to Romney’s statements

During his world tour, Romney made “superficial” assertions and ”sketched out ambitious goals but said nothing about how he would achieve them”, said a Washington Post editorial. Gaffes aside, the Republican presidential candidate demonstrated “an alarmingly simplistic view of complex questions,” according to the editorial: “With fewer than 100 days until the election, we hope Mr. Romney will come up with serious answers on foreign policy.”

More on the US presidential election

  • Obama and Romney in the money wars
  • ‘Mitt the twit’ questions London 2012
  • Romney clinches GOP nomination
  • Romney tax returns: The fall-out

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