As we discussed a few weeks ago, Mitt Romney thought a trip abroad would bolster his foreign-policy credibility and make him appear more "presidential." So far this week, however, the Republican candidate has ended up looking like an amateur who's nowhere near ready to lead.
It started the day before his departure, when Romney caused a diplomatic incident with Australia, a steadfast U.S. ally, misquoting the Australian foreign minister. The same day, a Romney advisor made a racially-charged comment about President Obama to a British newspaper.
And then Romney arrived in London, where things went really downhill. The Republican, whose foreign policy experience is limited to his mysterious Swiss bank account, said there are "disconcerting" signs that his British hosts are not prepared to host the Olympics. (Yesterday, he also forgot Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's name after meeting him.)
British Prime Minister David Cameron did not seem pleased.
The prime minister has hit back at comments from the US presidential candidate Mitt Romney querying Britain's readiness for the Olympics... Romney said the fallout from the G4S security fiasco and a threatened strike by immigration officials were "disconcerting" and questioned whether British people would get behind the Games.
"Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And that's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin. It is hard to know just how well it will turn out," said Romney.
But Cameron, who was due to meet Romney later on Thursday, said: "In terms of people coming together, the torch relay demonstrated that this is not a London Games, this is not an England Games but this is a United Kingdom Games. We'll show the world we've not only come together as a United Kingdom but are extremely good at welcoming people from across the world."
Cameron said he was going to make this point to Romney when he met him later on Thursday.
Romney's been abroad for one day and he's already annoying our allies, while making himself appear amateurish.
Matters may worsen tonight: he's hosting a campaign fundraiser in the UK with international financiers, some of whom are under investigation as part of the LIBOR scandal.
Update: The British PM isn't done venting. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” Cameron said, according to The Telegraph. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” Maybe Romney should launch an apology tour.