GDANSK, Poland--Lech Walesa, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of Poland, effectively endorsed Mitt Romney during a meeting with the GOP presidential candidate Monday.
Walesa, a co-founder of the Solidarity movement in Poland which challenged Communist rule during the 1980s, urged Romney to "get your success" in the upcoming election.
"I wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too," Walesa told Romney ahead of an hour-long meeting between the two men. "Romney, get your success! Be successful!"
It was Romney's second meeting of the day in Gdansk, a brief stopover before the candidate heads to Warsaw, the final stop of his week-long overseas tour. Romney's campaign noted the candidate visited Poland at Walesa's invitation. It was a sly dig at President Barack Obama, whose diplomatic relationship with Polish officials has been strained since 2009, when the Obama administration canceled an air missile defense system set to be built in Poland. The move was viewed as a concession to Russia.
Earlier Monday, Romney met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Protestors rallied outside--including a group of people who chanted Obama's name. Others waved a large sign in Polish in support of Ron Paul.
On his way out of town, Romney, his wife, Ann, and son Josh visited two prominent memorials in Gdansk. They laid a wreath at Westerplatte, where the first shots of World War II were fired. Before heading to the airport, they stopped at the Solidarity Monument, one of the most revered spots in Poland which marks where the Solidarity movement began.