To recap: Romney’s first eyebrow-raiser came in London, when he expressed reservations to Brian Williams of NBC about London’s readiness to host the summer Olympics, calling some issues “disconcerting.” That opened a torrent of criticism from the British press, and chiding from Prime Minister David Cameron and London’s mayor, Boris Johnson.
In Israel, Romney insulted Palestinians when he spoke of “cultural differences” leading to their sluggish economy. He also had to correct the impression that he would approve a unilateral military strike by Israel to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. It is considered bad form for an opposition politician to contradict US policy while traveling abroad.
In Poland, Romney’s traveling press secretary, Rick Gorka, cursed at reporters for shouting questions at Romney during a visit to Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Frustrations had come to a boil over the candidate’s limited availability to the press: He took only three questions the entire trip.
But as unprofessional as Mr. Gorka’s reaction may have been – he later apologized to some of the reporters – taking on the political press rarely carries a downside with American voters.
As Romney flew back to the US Tuesday, Team Obama held a conference call to reinforce the negatives of the trip, calling it “an embarrassing disaster.”