Credit: Spiegel Germany
In addition to raising money, the seven-day trip to visit important American allies was supposed to burnish presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credentials. He started out last week in London where he met with Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the Summer Olympics. Over the weekend he went on to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But so far, Romney’s trip has not had the intended effect. In London he drew fire for clumsy gaffes. In an interview on US television Romney called preparations for the games “disconcerting,” questioning the adequacy of security personnel and the possible strike by immigration and customs officials. “That obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he said.Though he later praised the Olympics, the damage was already done. London mayor Boris Johnson rebuked the former Massachusetts governor in front of a screaming crowd of about 60,000. To make matters worse, Romney revealed what was supposed to be a secret meeting with the British foreign intelligence agency MI-6 and awkwardly called Labour leader Ed Miliband, “Mr. Leader.”