Editorial: Romney sends sour message

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. Mitt Romney’s trip abroad was an unmitigated disaster, giving his message handlers a tall order to fill — and not just because of his verbal gaffes. 
Romney started off the trip by insulting the British and the London Olympic committee to no recognizable purpose, when it would have been so easy, and politic, to be polite (and silently helpful if he thought criticism could have been constructive.)
He fled to Israel where he conducted a campaign-style dog-and-pony show, pandered shamelessly to that nation’s militant right-wingers — undercutting any nascent peace process that might have been underway — all the while giving his Las Vegas casino billionaires a front-row seat for the millions in return they will give to his campaign. Then he insults all Palestinians in what they widely considered a racist remark.
Not only does he not move the dialogue forward, or demonstrate any knowledge of the region, now few Arab nations in the Middle East will consider Romney and this Republican Party anything but an obstacle to regional peace. That’s not a great start for a candidate trying to demonstrate a working knowledge of foreign policy issues and that he has the personal charisma and understanding to make progress on a host of intricate and complex issues facing the world.
He travels to Poland but has almost nothing to say (no policy pronouncements, no press secretaries available to decipher his speech and explain how anything he said might change current policy under President Obama), but in any effort to mitigate their boss’s poor performance, they try to shield him from the press, prompting an rude and embarrassing comment by the press secretary who told national and international reporters “to kiss my ass” when asking the candidate to answer a few questions.
Whoa there, cowboys. Is this déjà vu? Surely we’re not resurrecting the failed approach of Bush II.
Not to worry, say Romney’s handlers. He just tells it like it is; doesn’t hide his true feelings; doesn’t mince his words — which, of course, is what has most foreign policy experts worried sick. It was a rotten performance, and no amount of sugar can make it palatable.

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