With Mitt Romney headed home from his foreign tour, the Obama Campaign today said the candidate’s gaffe-filled three days prove he is unqualified to lead the U.S. on the international stage.
“It is clear that the opportunity to credential his beliefs with American voters was nothing short for Mitt Romney of an embarrassing disaster,” Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs told reporters on a conference call.
“Getting any word wrong can have an enormous impact overseas in a diplomatic situation. Gov. Romney showed on this trip that he may not have the discipline to handle those delicate diplomatic interactions,” Gibbs added in reference to the controversies stirred by Romney comments in London and Israel.
Former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Colin Kahl said Romney’s visit to three of America’s closest allies should have been “easy” to avoid missteps.
“It’s not that Romney struck out against a major league pitcher. I mean, here he struck out playing tee ball,” Kahl said.
Both aides claimed that, compared with Romney, candidate Obama in 2008 was much more accessible to the press and outspoken about his views during a tour overseas of eight countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan. He took at least 25 questions over four press conferences and sat down with network TV news correspondents for seven interviews.
Romney held a single press availability in London, taking just three questions from the press.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams defended the presumptive Republican nominee in response to the Democrats’ criticism, insisting his foreign policy speaks for itself.
“Mitt Romney will be a president who unapologetically stands up for America and the enduring values of freedom,” Williams said in a statement. “President Obama has weakened America’s position in the world and frayed relationships with our closest allies – all while earning effusive praise from the likes of Hugo Chavez. Governor Romney has laid out a foreign policy that will strengthen our interests, ensure our security, and let our friends know they have a partner in the White House.”
Still, Gibbs and Kahl noted that Romney offered few specifics during his trip on how his foreign policy would differ with Obama’s on issues of missile defense, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process or Iran.
“Romney likes to sound tougher on Iran, but when you really delve into the specifics, there’s not a lot of ‘there’ there that’s any different from what the administration has already done or is already doing,” said Kahl.