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Obama campaign calls Romney 'unmitigated disaster' on world stage

October 07, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is accused of being an 'unmitigated disaster' on the world stage by President Obama's campaign, appears at a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is accused of being… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE – En route to Los Angeles, the Obama campaign drew on a Hollywood reference in its prebuttal of Mitt Romney’s speech Monday outlining his foreign policy vision.

Invoking Romney’s trip abroad during the summer, campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the “only person who has offended Europe more is probably Chevy Chase.”

“We’re not going to be lectured by someone who’s been an unmitigated disaster on foreign policy every time he’s dipped his toe in the foreign policy waters,” Psaki told reporters traveling with the president.

Psaki was alluding to a series of missteps by the Republican nominee and his campaign on the trip, including comments that were seen as criticizing London’s preparedness for the Summer Olympic. She also noted that in his speech at the Republican convention, Romney failed to discuss Afghanistan or thank the armed forces for their sacrifices after more than a decade of war.

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Romney plans to deliver a speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., which his campaign has promised will “will offer a stark contrast between his vision for a strong foreign policy and the failed record of President Obama.” In a news release, the campaign said Romney offered strength and clarity where Obama has demonstrated weakness and equivocation.  

“This is his fourth or fifth retake, trying to lay out his foreign policy positions for the American people,” Psaki said. “And at this point, it’s a very high bar he would have to jump over to convince them he’s prepared to be commander in chief.”

The Romney campaign dismissed Psaki’s jabs.

“In every region of the world — and particularly in the Middle East — American influence has been weakened by President Obama’s failed foreign policy. American security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years, and Mitt Romney will restore the bipartisan tradition of American leadership abroad that President Obama has not lived up to,” spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also joined in the attack, although he explained that his comments were meant as a policy contrast, not a political one.

Romney, like other Republican leaders, was “fully supportive of the approach that President [George W.]  Bush took” in Iraq and Afghanistan, one that was “adrift and underfunded and under-resourced,” he said.

“The president promised to reverse that. He did it,” Carney said.

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michael.memoli@latimes.com

Twitter: @mikememoli

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