The Obama campaign slammed Mitt Romney’s overseas trip on a conference call this afternoon, calling it “nothing short of an embarrassment” on the same day Romney headed back to the United States. “Romney couldn’t even handle the low bar” he set by travelling to three friendly countries, said Colin Kahl, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of defence for the Middle East. “What’s going to happen when he has to deal with our enemies?”
“He struck out playing tee-ball,” Kahl added.
Kahl and senior adviser Robert Gibbs hit Romney for a series of campaign missteps during the trip, including: His public criticisms of London’s readiness for the Olympics were hammered by the British press and political leaders; some of his comments in Israel that led Palestinian leaders to call him “racist”; and in for tensions between the campaign and the media, including a flare-up in which an aide snapped and told reporters to “kiss my arse.”
They also criticised Romney for not laying out a foreign-policy vision.
“Getting any word wrong can have a big impact overseas,” Gibbs said. “… [Romney] may not have the discipline to handle those delicate interactions.”
UPDATE (2:50 p.m. ET): Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams responded to the conference call, but didn’t directly address comments the Obama campaign made of the “embarrassing disaster.” Here’s Williams’ statement to reporters:
“Mitt Romney will be a president who unapologetically stands up for America and the enduring values of freedom. President Obama has weakened America’s position in the world and frayed relationships with our closest allies – all while earning effusive praise from the likes of Hugo Chavez. Governor Romney has laid out a foreign policy that will strengthen our interests, ensure our security, and let our friends know they have a partner in the White House.”
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