Foreign policy has always been a weak spot for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The former governor of Massachusetts has no diplomatic experience to speak of, and even fellow Republicans have described Romney’s foreign policy positions as “strangely amateurish.”
On Thursday, the first day of Romney’s much hyped overseas trip — which was intended to burnish his diplomatic credentials — Romney’s foreign policy problems were crystallized. In a matter of hours Romney managed to doubt the success of the upcoming Olympics, question whether Brits even cared about the games, and offend Prime Minister David Cameron. What’s worse, the episode wasn’t even the Romney campaign’s worst foray into statecraft this week.
Here are 5 more of Mitt Romney’s worst foreign policy fails of the campaign so far:
Saying Obama Isn’t “Anglo-Saxon” Enough
Romney’s campaign managed to derail their candidate’s trip to London before Romney even left the United States, when an unnamed adviser told the Daily Telegraph that
We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special…The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.
Ironically, Romney’s supposed “Anglo-Saxon heritage” didn’t stop him from angering Britain more in a few hours than President Obama has in more than 3 years.
Re-Heating The Cold War
Back in March, Romney laughably described Russia as “without question our number one geopolitical foe.”
Dmitry Medvedev, who was President of Russia at the time, found Romney’s declaration to be as ridiculous as most reputable international relations experts do. He responded that the statement was “very reminiscent of Hollywood,” and suggested that Romney “check [his] clocks from time to time: it is 2012, not the mid-1970s.”
Of course, you can’t blame Romney for fearing Russia — after all, his advisers seem to think that it’s still the Soviet Union.
Lying About A Meeting With An Australian Diplomat
At a recent fundraiser, Romney claimed that Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr had told him that “America is in decline” due to its inability to pass a budget.
This was news to Carr, however. Carr immediately denied Romney’s version of events, insisting that he was actually praising America’s economic strength by pointing out that “America is just one budget deal away from ending all talk of America being in decline.”
Who’s apologizing for America now?
Ending The Iraq War Is Tragic
The Iraq War, in which thousands of American troops (and many more Iraqis) died in a conflict over weapons of mass destruction that never existed, is generally accepted to be a tremendous mistake. To that end, 78 percent of Americans approved of President Obama’s move to end the war in late 2011.
Mitt Romney is one of the other 22 percent. He said that Obama’s plan to withdraw troops is “more than unfortunate, I think it’s tragic.“
Bringing Back The Bush Team
If Romney thought that the end of the Iraq War was tragic, it’s probably because the people who advise him are the same geniuses who led us there in the first place. Dick Cheney says that Romney’s the “only” man for foreign policy, and of Romney’s 24 special advisers on foreign policy, 17 served in the Bush administration.