The three nations that he visited — England, Israel and Poland — were far apart on the map, he said, “but for an American, you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you can in these places.”
The two-day visit to Poland was marred Tuesday when a Romney press aide cursed at reporters who shouted questions at Romney as he walked across a plaza to his car after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The aide later apologized.
But it was a far less consequential bit of negative publicity than the gaffes Romney made on the trip — questioning Britain’s preparedness and excitement for the Olympic Games and musing during a fundraiser in Israel about how the economic disparities between neighboring countries, including Israel and the Palestinian areas, show the “power” of “culture.”
Democrats argued that the trip showed Romney was ill-prepared to represent the United States on the international stage.
“He both offended our closest ally and triggered a troubling reaction in the most sensitive region of the world,” senior Obama adviser Robert Gibbs told reporters. “He certainly didn’t prove to anyone that he passed the commander-in-chief test.”
The Romney campaign insisted that the trip was a success, and that voters at home would not be concerned by any missteps.
“I think people understand that big elections are about big things. ... This is not a race that has been affected by small things at all. I think it means absolutely nothing to the people at home because it has no relevance to their life. It doesn’t matter,” said chief strategist Stuart Stevens. “If the mayor of London is saying something. ... It’s not what people are looking for.”