Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney took his campaign overseas briefly this summer in an attempt to highlight his foreign policy strengths and generate support abroad during the election year. Stopping in Britain, Israel, and Poland, his efforts earned positive responses from event attendees, but a number of gaffes called out by critics put his trip in a different light.
Romney’s first error caught by the media was publicly voicing doubt over whether London was ready to host the Olympic Games. His unwanted critique drew sharp responses from Brits.
Romney’s blunder in Israel, however, was more dire. Comments he made comparing the stronger GDP of Israel to that of Palestine were construed as derogatory, prompting a response from Sa’eb Erekat, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Erekat said Romney’s statements “reflect someone who needs to be educated” as his words will now unfortunately be used to serve the goals of extremists in the region.
Romney proponents defended his efforts, saying by any reasonable standard, the trip had been successful, but the media disproportionately represented his errors, which he more than made up for.