Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicked off his overseas trip with a series of meetings with British leaders (AP), including Prime Minister David Cameron.
In addition to Cameron, Romney also met with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who now serves as a special envoy to the Middle East, to discuss the Middle East peace process, the situation in Syria, Iran and the wider region; Ed Miliband, the current leader of the Labor Party; and Foreign Secretary William Hague. The candidate is also slated to meet with Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Britain’s top financial official.
President Barack Obama wrapped up a three-day fundraising swing with a defense of his efforts to improve the United States’ standing in the world by making higher education more affordable and expanding access to health care (NYT).
At the National Urban League conference in New Orleans Wednesday, the president announced the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (HuffPost). Aides say the executive order will set the goal of producing “a more effective continuum” of programs for African-American students to help them be better prepared for high school, college and and more competitive when entering the workforce.
The Obama campaign this election year has emphasized that rebuilding the U.S. economy and staying globally competitive must include strengthening the U.S. educational system.
U.S. business owners’ opinion of President Obama and his economic plans dropped from 41 percent earlier in the year to 35 percent, says Gallup, though is overall approval ratings are up slightly.
“Although business owners represent just a small subset of the U.S. population, they are of course a critical component of the economy and overall economic optimism in the country,” Gallup’s editors say. “If business owners become more positive about Obama and his plans for the economy, that could potentially boost his approval ratings and broader U.S. economic confidence closer to the levels necessary for him to be well positioned for re-election. Conversely, further deterioration in his approval rating among business owners could certainly add to the perception that Obama is not doing enough to bolster small businesses in the country.”
The slip comes amid several weeks of aggressive campaigning from Republicans (ABC) framing Romney as more friendly to small business.
– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor