Does Romney’s C+ on his European trip REALLY matter?

As I type this Mitt Romney is on his way back to the good ole US of A….

The media has dubbed the trip by Romney to England, Israel and Poland a disaster…

I’ve give the GOP candidate a C+….

Chris Cillizza over at the Washington Post does a piece that asks ‘does it matter what WE think now?’

“I find this entire trip borderline lunacy,” said one senior Republican strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly. “Why on earth is he seeking to improve his foreign policy cred when there will not be a single vote cast on that subject?”Ed Rogers, a longtime Republican operative, was more measured, but acknowledged that the trip was something short of a unqualified success.

“Romney abroad is the same as Romney at home,” said Rogers. “His performance is uneven at times, but overall, pretty good.” Added Rogers: “Let’s face it, Romney can’t win, but Obama can lose.”

Another veteran Republican political consultant reached for a golf metaphor when asked to explain Romney’s performance in Europe — and whether it will hurt his campaign domestically.

“He’s like the guy who is a competent-but-not-gifted athlete who learns to play golf,” said the GOP source. “He works really hard at it, and most of the time he’s perfectly competent, if not stellar. But once each round he is going to shank one and break a window on a house lining the golf course.”

Those aren’t the sort of impressions Romney wanted to create when he left for Europe at this time last week. The goal of the trip seemed obvious — a chance for Romney to prove to doubters that he was more than up to serving as the face of America on the world stage.

Those close to the Romney campaign reject even the idea that the foreign trip was a net negative for them. Yes, the candidate made a few errors, they acknowledge, but they were minor when compared to the overall message — praise from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an endorsement from Poland’s Lech Walesa — that the average American voter received from Romney’s travels over the last week.


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24 thoughts on “Does Romney’s C+ on his European trip REALLY matter?”

  1. The Romney trip was good for laughs

    But likely won’t be long remembered

    Indeed in this economic times

    I don’t see foreign policy playing a major role in the campaign

    1. Jack….. rest assured images from the trip WILL show up in commercials…Posting Romney up as ‘Presidential’

  2. But it might play into the slowly growing resenment from moderates on the right, who are fed up with clowns and robots as prime representatives of the GOP – as well as an unproductive agenda.

    But for the elections? Not so much probably… offending europeans and palestinians.. is far down on the list compared to jobs and economy…….
    even though it suddenly could become a lot more closely connected….

  3. It’s not hard to visualize the visualize in Romney-?? commercials of The Candidate in front of the Wailing Wall and the Jerusalem skyline, and having a smile-fest with Lech Walesa.

    Solidarity itself (with whom Lech Walesa’s connection is now just a historical one) expressed solidarity with the American labor movement that had supported Solidarity in the 1980’s and criticized Romney on labor issues.

  4. Though I might not agree with every detail, I thought this Canadian commentary was perceptive and balanced:

    How gaffe-filled was Mitt Romney’s foreign adventure?

    By Mark Gollom, CBC News

    It is probably no surprise that Mitt Romney’s press secretary lost his cool on Tuesday following the Republican candidate’s visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.

    As reporters hurled questions at Romney about the so-called gaffes during his trip abroad, Romney’s press secretary jumped into the fray, telling reporters to “kiss my ass.”

    “This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect,” Rick Gorka said. Asked why Romney has taken just three questions from American reporters during this trip, Gorka told one member of the press entourage to “shove it.”

    He apologized later but the damage had been done. If this was a trip designed to show Romney and his Republican brain trust as comfortable on the world stage they didn’t exactly come home with their merit badges….

    … instead of an easy political win, Romney’s foreign adventure in the early going was portrayed as a gaffe-filled affair, slammed by the British press and leading British politicians, and even by Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer. Happily piling on, Barack Obama’s senior campaign adviser, Robert Gibbs, referred to it as an “embarrassing disaster.”

    Of course Romney strategist Stuart Stevens rejected that notion, telling reporters that the trip was in fact “a great success, generally.”

    The reality, of course, is probably somewhere in between…


  5. Regarding DSD’s last post, I would consider Romney’s trip to Poland to be a relative success. I really can’t get worked up at what a Romney aid said, and I can’t get worked up at Romney refusing to answer reporters’ questions.

    The trip to Israel was NOT successful. He appears to be the preferred choice of Netanyahu and he had a successful fundraiser there, But there was no reason to insult the Palestinians. With that culture comment, he permanently destroyed his ability to be a peacemaker in that country. And I don’t think that was the appropriate place for the Jerusalem comment. I’m not a MidEast expert, but if we did want to move the embassy, I would think we would want to get some of our allies to make the move together, and we would simultaneously extract some concession(s) from the Israelis regarding the peace process.

    The trip to England was a disaster. I don’t think Romney really intended to insult the Brits – he was just trying to make himself look better – but the England papers were brutal (and perhaps unfair) in their response. And it is disconcerting (I borrowed that word from Romney) that Romney didn’t prepare at least on the plane for the trip. The “Mr. leader” comment was insulting. If President, Romney will be going on a lot of foreign trips. He is obviously not skilled in dealing with cultural differences. Going to London should be relatively easy. How can I be comfortable when he travels to Africa?

  6. No there is no such thing as bad publicity so a Gentleman’s C in Britain.

    A+++ in Israel.


    Lech Walesa liked him.

    “Kiss my ass!”

    Anger is an energy.

    I say the press acted like Ugly Americans.


    1. I was NOT critical of the Romney staff member in Poland who was overworked and had a point…
      But to be fair….
      Obama does the same thing limiting press interaction to controlled situations….

      I guess that’s why Obama doesn’t have the gaffa problems, eh?

      Comes with the the territory

  7. Greetings from the People’s Republic of Sonoma County. Beautiful morning here as we start a two week vacation away from DC heat, but not politics. This is from Taegan Goddard — well at least Mitt’s horse looks good!!

    Romney Returns Home After Troubled Overseas Trip

    Bloomberg: “Mitt Romney returns from an erratic, six-day overseas tour with no discernible boost to his foreign policy credentials, and facing fresh questions about his campaign operation as it enters a critical period.”

    “While the presumed Republican nominee’s string of gaffes and international mini-incidents may not sway U.S. voters, whose chief concern is the domestic economy, it has reignited some Republicans’ concerns that the troubles Romney encountered abroad are indicative of his campaign’s weaknesses at home.”

    Politico: “As discrete episodes, Romney’s ill-timed criticism of Great Britain’s preparations for the Olympics and his matter-of-fact claim of the cultural superiority of Israelis over Palestinians won’t do damage to him among voters. But what they do, particularly for voters just now engaging in the race, is offer more examples about an ill-at-ease man who says odd or inappropriate things.”

  8. How easy you are James. Here is someone that works on the campaign, makes his living from the campaign, calling an American reporter an “asshole” and they get excused because they “are overworked” — the post from Goddard says it all James. If you can’t step onto the world stage without stepping on your own dick, you should get off the stage. This trip was a disaster at various levels throughout — just admit it and move on.

    1. I’ll stand by my comment on the kid…..

      As I posted here ….
      Obama made the trip 4 years ago with 13 staff people I believe…
      Romney took 3….
      You ARE correct in that the staff member should have NOT lose his ‘cool’…
      But understand nevertheless…
      Romney and his op are simply NOT up to it….

      And to think….
      Millions of people WILL vote for the guy!

  9. Wanting to use the Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop was not a gaffe?

    Calling the arrest of Skippy Gates “police acting stupidly” was not a gaffe?

    And the toast to the Queen?

    Gaffes are relative and may show how important it is to pick the right person to be Vice President to make you look good.

    Take Joe Biden, the gaffe master general!

    Maybe Mitt should offer him the job of rujnning mate as an act of bipartisanship.

    Just an idea.

    1. Joe Biden has helped Obama …..
      I love the guy….

      He may speak the truth to hurt…
      But he is a gold mine for his boss …
      With Congress…
      The media…
      And the politics….

  10. But Manila, don’t you know everyone in Cambridge hates the cops. You said so yourself. Swiss Bank accounts for everyone!!

    1. Hate Cops?

      They are doing their job JUST like everyone else…
      And Manila who have the GOPer’s gone after in the labor arena ?
      You sit down in the street…
      The cops ARE gonna show up…
      Good protestors KNOW how to handle themselves so NO ONE gets hurt..
      And they get pictures in the media….

  11. “don’t you know everyone in Cambridge hates the cops”

    Good news.

    Thats my gaffe.

    Bad news.

    I’m not running for or hold the office of POTUS.

    The question now is does everyone hate the rich?

    And what do you have against the Swiss?

    That they make cheese with holes?

  12. I question that greatly, at least in MA they are the one Union that is given almost unconditional support, but at least they have not gone after the fire department even though they have failed to investigate the Obama campaign burning through money.

    1. Manila ….

      I said during the height of Occupy that the cops and protestors have MORE in common than the Wall Street people….
      BOTH are getting screwed by the GOPer’s

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