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Not the Local Coverage Mitt Romney Wanted to Come Home To

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Mitt Romney’s overseas trip has been more National Lampoon than national security. His trip took him to three of our strongest allies: the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland. It should have been a layup for anyone hoping to be commander in chief. Instead, Mitt Romney went abroad, offended our closest allies and made big mistakes in one friendly country after another.  He questioned if London was ready for the Olympics, his campaign tried to shut the press out of a high dollar fundraiser in Israel, and refused to take questions from the press in Poland.  To top it all off, a Romney campaign aide insulted the press covering Romney.

The Romney campaign has been trying to spin their disastrous trip abroad. A campaign aide said the trip was a “great success,” and campaign surrogate and Governor Bobby Jindal told reporters that they are “not worried about overseas headlines” and are only “worried about voters back here at home.”  Romney adviser Stuart Stevens went so far as to suggest "I think it means absolutely nothing to people at home because it has no relevance to their life. It doesn't matter."

Of course, if you were reading what Americans were reading, you'd see things a little differently. The voters back home were well aware of Mitt's overseas missteps. The voters back home were reading about a candidate that failed miserably during his audition for Commander in Chief. The fact is, the Romney campaign went on this trip because they thought it mattered and Mitt Romney couldn't meet with our closest friends without tripping all over himself. The Romney campaign is spinning furiously because this isn’t the local coverage Mitt Romney was hoping to come home to:

Wire Services

Mitt Romney's foreign fundraising
Gatehouse Media:
Waynesboro Record Herald (PA), Canton Repository (OH)
Of greater concern here is what Romney said behind the scenes in his visits to London, Israel and Poland. What promises did he make to British Prime Minister David Cameron? What assurances did he give to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about what he might do about –– or to –– Iran should he move into the White House in January?

Another hiccup? Romney’s foreign trip not smooth
Associated Press:
Nashua Telegraph (NH), York Dispatch (PA), Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH), WVIR (VA), Central Florida News 13 (FL), Denver Post (CO), Mohave Valley Daily News (NV),  Las Vegas Sun (NV)
Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians on Monday, telling Jewish donors that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians. That fresh controversy on his visit to Israel came just days after insulting the British on what was intended as a feel-good visit to the Olympics in London.

Palestinian official: Romney comments unacceptable
Associated Press:
Reno Gazette Journal (NV), Pittsburgh Tribune Review (PA), Denver Post (CO), Tampa Tribune (FL), Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO), Lakeland Ledger (FL), Las Vegas Sun (NV), Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who called his comments racist and out of touch.

Romney angers Palestinians with pro-Israel comment
Associated Press:
Beaver County Times (PA), WSLS (VA), Marietta Times (OH), Cortez Journal (CO), Las Vegas Sun (NV)
That came on Monday when Romney addressed the stark economic differences between Israel _ a high-tech powerhouse with the per capita income of a developed nation _ and the poorer Palestinians. Romney told an audience of affluent Jewish donors _ including gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is pumping millions into a crusade to defeat President Barack Obama _ that some economic historians have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."

Romney's remarks on Israel set off culture skirmish
McClatchy:
Pittsburgh-Tribune Review (PA), Miami Herald (FL), Bradenton Herald (FL)
Mitt Romney suggested on Monday that Israelis enjoy a better standard of living than neighboring Palestinians do because they have a superior culture and enjoy the “hand of providence.” The remarks set off an outcry from Palestinians, one of whom accused Romney of racism. The brouhaha was the latest turmoil to rock the Republican presidential candidate’s foreign trek, including a controversy in London on the eve of the Olympics and another in Jerusalem.

Romney stumbles on world stage but will it hit him at home?
Reuters:
Allentown Morning Call (PA), WINA (VA)
Romney is facing doubts about whether he can handle himself on the world stage as he tries to replace President Barack Obama. His blunt comments on the London Olympics, Israel's culture and the status of Jerusalem showed an awkward tone and an inability to control his own message, a problem that could be magnified in the heat of the campaign's next 100 days.

Reports: Romney remarks at Jerusalem fundraiser cause stir among Palestinian officials
McClatchy:
Bradenton Herald (FL)
Mitt Romney's remarks at a Jerusalem fundraiser Monday morning have caused a stir among Palestinian officials, according to news accounts.

Romney angers Palestinians with Israel comment
Los Angeles Times:
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (PA)
Mitt Romney said he sees the "power" of "culture" at work in the large disparity between living standards in Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. Palestinian spokespeople reacted angrily, saying Romney had ignored the impact of government policy, which for years has favored economic development in Jewish areas, and the continued Israeli occupation of parts of the West Bank, which has disrupted commerce and communications in Palestinian areas.

Romney Trip Raises Sparks at a 2nd Stop
New York Times:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Mitt Romney offended Palestinian leaders on Monday by suggesting that cultural differences explain why the Israelis are so much more economically successful than Palestinians, thrusting himself again into a volatile issue while on his high-profile overseas trip. His remarks drew a pointed rebuke from the Palestinian leadership, which angrily noted that Mr. Romney had failed to mention the years of trade restrictions imposed by Israel.

Polish Solidarity distances self from Romney visit
Reuters:
WINA (VA)
Solidarity, the trade union movement which led the Polish struggle against Communist rule, distanced itself on Monday from a visit to Poland by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying he supported attacks on unions in his own country.

Romney riles Palestinians with digs at culture, economy
Reuters:
WINA (VA)
Palestinians accused U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of racism on Monday by suggesting disparities between the Israeli and Palestinian economies had cultural roots, while ignoring Israel's occupation of the West Bank. In a speech to fundraisers in Jerusalem, Romney, visiting Israel to boost his electoral credentials ahead of a November 6 election bid against President Barack Obama, said Israel's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about twice that of the Palestinians.

Romney's foreign controversies overshadow economic message
Reuters:
WINA (VA)
Republican Mitt Romney's campaign tried to keep the domestic political focus on the U.S. economy and jobs on Monday, although the effort was overshadowed by more controversy from a foreign trip after he made remarks that upset Palestinians.

Romney stirs new controversy on bumpy foreign trip
Associated Press:
WSLS (VA)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians on Monday, stirring fresh controversy on his visit to Israel just days after insulting the British on what was intended as a feel-good visit to the Olympics in London.

Romney comments at fundraiser outrage Palestinians
Associated Press:
News-Press (FL)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stirred more hard feelings on his foreign tour Monday when he told Jewish donors their culture allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians. Outraged Palestinian leaders suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.

Romney stumbles across Atlantic
Washington Post:
Columbus Dispatch (OH)
How is Mitt Romney’s summer vacation going? Fine, except for frequent pauses to remove foot from mouth. He began his “Look At Me, I’m a Statesman” overseas tour by offending the people of the United Kingdom. To put it mildly, Romney is no genius at reading the mood of an audience. But even he realized things were not going well when he saw tabloid headlines such as “Mitt the Twit” and “ Nowhere Man.”

Back to campaigning for Romney after uneven trip
Associated Press:
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)
Wrapping up a stumble-marred overseas trip, Mitt Romney pivoted quickly into a three-month stretch to the election on Tuesday with a new feel-good television ad. Aides simultaneously stoked speculation about his vice presidential pick.

Romney Aide To Reporters: 'Kiss My ... This Is A Holy Site'
NPR:
WIUM (IA)
We have a feeling this quote will loom large in campaign 2012 lore: "Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people." Rick Gorka, a spokesman for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, has since apologized to the press corps for saying that today as he grew increasingly frustrated with the journalists. The reporters were shouting questions at Romney as the candidate left Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, where he had visited Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Romney aide apologizes for rude remark
CNN:
KVVU (NV)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was visiting Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Tuesday, when one of his aides lost his temper. The exchange happened between traveling press secretary Rick Gorka and a group of reporters. Reporters from CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets shouted questions as Romney walked back to his car. Gorka told them to "show some respect," and one responded they had not gotten another chance to ask him questions. "Kiss my ass, this is a holy site for the Polish people," Gorka said. "Show some respect."


Florida

Romney's foreign misadventures
Tampa Bay Times // Editorial
Mitt Romney bounced from careless to reckless over the weekend during an overseas trip meant to showcase his foreign policy credentials. In London, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee slighted his hosts by wondering whether Britain was prepared to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Romney followed that with a trip to Israel, where he was forced to backtrack on a senior foreign policy aide's suggestion his administration would support a unilateral military strike against Iran by Israel.

Romney's trip abroad II
Miami Sun-Sentinel // Chan Lowe
As of this writing, the Romney international "getting to know me" tour has been a debacle of the first order, and as yet we haven’t even gotten word of his performance in Poland. First, there was the Olympic faux pas with his British hosts.

"Kiss my ass" moment erupts between Mitt Romney camp and traveling press corps
Miami Herald // Marc Caputo
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's overseas trip to England, Israel and now Poland hasn't been the foreign-policy showcase many supporters had hoped for. In London, politicians and the press were offended by comments that seemed to criticize their management of the Olympics. Then, in Jerusalem, he made comments about Jewish cultural exceptionalism that offended Palestinians.

Pennsylvania

Overseas, Romney still isn't saying much
Philadelphia Inquirer // Editorial
Americans should listen closely to what Mitt Romney has to say about foreign policy as he completes his six-day tour of England, Poland, and Israel, because until the debates he's unlikely to say much about the same topics on these shores. On this side of the pond, it has become apparent that foreign policy isn't Romney's forte. That's not unusual. Obama was a novice, too, during his first campaign. But he offered viable alternatives to President George W. Bush's foreign policy, while Romney has offered mostly rhetoric.

Foreign stumbles: Romney's London stop was no lift to his campaign
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette // Editorial
Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney is on a foreign trip designed to show him in the best light as a potential president representing his country overseas. Yet he opened with a three-step stumble in his first stop, the United Kingdom.

Campaign Notes: Home and Abroad
Philadelphia Daily News // John Baer
You no doubt saw Mitt getting the Brits in a tizzy over comments he made suggesting maybe London isn't fully prepared to handle the Olympic games. This drew a clear rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron: "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," an obvious reference to Mitt's Utah games. Then there was the comment in the British press attributed to a Romney advisor suggesting Mitt has more of connection to England than Obama. "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and (Romney) feels that the special relationship is special," a Romney adviser told The Telegraph. "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."

Utah

British leader takes offense at Romney words, slams Salt Lake City Olympics
Salt Lake Tribune // Thomas Burr
Romney got the back-and-forth going by telling NBC News: "The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging." Cameron was happy to respond with his own insult about the work Romney did with the Salt Lake Games. "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the   world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," Cameron told reporters in London. It wasn’t the most stellar moment for Romney, whose campaign had hoped the London Olympics would provide a stage for the candidate to remind American voters of his success in turning around and leading the Salt Lake Games 10 years ago. And Romney’s off-the-cuff remarks didn’t much help the trip’s objective of boosting his foreign policy credentials.

Romney vs. Cameron, with Utah taking a hit
Salt Lake Tribune
Even abroad, Mitt Romney sticks his foot in his mouth. While visiting London just ahead of the Olympics (opening Friday), Romney insulted his hosts by saying in an NBC interview that some aspects of the preparation for the Games were "disconcerting. … The story about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that is not something that is encouraging." Romney's remarks prompted a strong backlash by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also sideswiped the entire state of Utah in the process.

Prime minister slams Salt Lake in response to Romney critique
Salt Lake Tribune // Matt Canham
Britain's prime minister considers Salt Lake City "the middle of nowhere," a slight issued by David Cameron as he responded to Mitt Romney's criticism of the Olympic planning in London. Romney, who is in London for the start of the Games, said he couldn't say the 2012 Games would be a success and questioned whether the British people would rally around the Olympics. In an interview with NBC's Nightly News, Romney said: "There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging." 

Minnesota

Conservatives of a feather? Romney meets with British PM Cameron
Minnesota Post // Mian Ridge
The trip to London — which is followed by stops in Poland and Israel — is an important opportunity for Romney, a former one-term governor who is widely traveled but inexperienced on the world's political stage, to demonstrate he has a sophisticated handle on foreign affairs. That did not get off to the best start yesterday after an unnamed advisor reportedly told the Daily Telegraph that Romney had a better understanding of the countries’ “Anglo-Saxon heritage" than the White House. US Vice President Joe Biden called the remarks "disturbing."

Illinois

Harry Reid jumps on Romney for insulting 'everybody' in the UK
WLS Chicago
LONDON (WLS) - The criticism of Mitt Romney's remarks in London that there were some things "disconcerting" about the Olympic Games have officially crossed the pond.  In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post stateside, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said that it is "not good for us as a country" to have somebody that is "nominated by one of the political parties to go over and insult everybody." Romney drew criticism after he said during an interview with NBC News that "it's hard to know how well" the London Olympics will turn out, adding that a "few things were disconcerting," about the organization and days leading up to the events.

Kansas

British leaders upset over Romney's Olympic comments
KWCH Wichita
(LONDON) — The 2012 Summer Olympics start Friday in London. But amid the pomp and pageantry, there's controversy. At issue are comments made by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "It's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney told NBC News. "There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging." British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a rebuke. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere." The last sentence a reference to Romney's tenure as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.