The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Foreign Policy Update: Analysts Discuss Romney’s Trip Abroad

by Newsteam Staff
August 2, 2012

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romneyoutside the Old Town Hall in Gdansk, Poland, July 30, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters). Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romneyoutside the Old Town Hall in Gdansk, Poland, July 30, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).


With presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s six-day, three country trip abroad at a close, analysts and politicos are weighing in on the candidate’s overseas performance.

Some Republicans consider the trip a win for the candidate. Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for President George W. Bush, commended Romney for speaking bluntly and truthfully (USAToday) and former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told CNN that overall Romney’s trip was a success. ” I think that the visit to Israel and the visit to Poland were very effective and drew a very real contrast between (President) Obama’s policies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Politico’s Jonathan Martin highlights six hits and misses for Romney, saying the trip was “an up-and-down affair” that was not the “triumphant debut of a new statesman” his campaign hoped it would be and that some Republicans were frustrated by what they consider an inconsistent performance.

TIME’s Jay Newton-Small writes that Romney’s trip quickly became “rhetorically constraining” and was always going to be a challenge no matter what foreign policy ideas he announced given President Barack Obama’s popularity outside the United States.

For more on the candidates’ stances on major foreign policy issues, check out all of CFR’s Issue Trackers.

Suggested Other Reading:

Monish Tourangbam at the Observer Research Foundation looks at the major foreign policy issues of the 2012 campaign, how foreign countries’ view U.S. presidential candidates and if a candidate’s foreign policy matters to U.S. voters. “As predicted, foreign policy issues may not; after all, significantly affect election results majorly, but for foreign countries, including India with which the U.S. engages across a broad spectrum, the candidates’ policy projections does matter,” writes Tourangbam. “Besides, in a globalized world, many of the issues like economy or immigration that are primarily considered as domestic in nature have equally potent foreign policy dimensions.”

Freshly retired from his World Bank presidency, Robert B. Zoellick gave a speech last week (PDF) on the United States’ need to realign and integrate its foreign economic policy with its strategic and security interests if it is to preserve its “exceptionalism” and status as a global leader.

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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