After delivering a major speech in Jerusalem Sunday, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued his overseas travels with a Monday fundraiser in Israel that was closed to the press (Politico) before heading to Poland for meetings with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and former President Lech Walesa (ABC).
The meetings might garner attention from Polish-American voters, especially in swing states. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio, considered important swing states, are home to high numbers of voters who trace their heritage to Poland, Catholic University professor John Kromkowski tells CBS.
Winning over those voters means Romney will likely have to commit to helping Poland become a member of the visa waiver program, an important issue for U.S. voters who still have family in Europe and something President Barack Obama said he supported during his own trip to Poland in 2011, writes CBS’s Rebecca Kaplan.
President Obama quietly downgraded his evaluation of the U.S. economy last week, issuing an updated budget that showed slower growth than originally projected at the beginning of the year (WashTimes).
The updated budget also shows a federal deficit of $1.2 trillion this year, and potentially a trillion-dollar shortfall next year, the Washington Times reports, noting that “if those projections come true, it would be the fifth straight year the government has run that deeply in the red — a level it had never reached until 2009.”
Both candidates are hard-pressed to show their differences on foreign policy, writes the New York Times’ Peter Baker, in an election year without wars or other radical international issues.
“It may be, then, that the real test on foreign policy this year is how voters assess the candidates in terms of their leadership, experience, strength and agility. In other words, the argument may come down to who would be more effective pursuing the same aims, who would do better at asserting American will, rallying allies and confronting adversaries, who would find the right blend of diplomacy and assertiveness,” Baker says.
– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor