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U.S. Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks in the Hall of the University of Warsaw Library on July 31, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. After visiting London, Israel, and the polish city of Gdansk, Romney traveled to Warsaw to meet with the Polish President and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is wrapping up a foreign tour that found the candidate getting unfavorable press along the way. In the lead up to the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday last week, Romney insinuated that London wasn’t ready for an event of the magnitude of the Olympics.
Then, in Poland on Tuesday, despite an endorsement from the labor movement Solidarity’s founder Lech Walesa, the current leadership of the organization issued a statement criticizing Romney and the Republicans for their position on trade unions.
Finally, leaving Europe for an event in Jerusalem, the former Massachusetts governor was criticized by Palestinians for statements he made about the role of culture in economic success. But all of these perceived missteps took place far from the attention of many voters. With less than one hundred days to go until Election Day is anybody but avowed political junkies tuning in?
What do candidates hope to accomplish with foreign campaign stops? How can what a candidate says outside America influence voters back home? And can the upcoming Vice Presidential running mate announcement get the Romney campaign more focused?
Arnold Steinberg, political strategist and analyst, a libertarian-conservative long associated with Republican campaigns; he was on the Board of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. between 2005 and 2009