Despite Mitt Romney insulting the British, demeaning the Palestinians, irritating Polish Solidarity, and ignoring the traveling press corps, Romney’s campaign and its Republican allies are hailing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s recent trip abroad a smash hit. “I think it was a great success,” Romney adviser Stuart Stevens said.
However, the National Journal, reporting that GOPers say the bad trip isn’t that big of a deal, got some veteran Republican operatives on record acknowledging the obvious:
“It comes under the heading ‘seemed like a good idea at the time,’ ” assessed John Pitney, a former Republican National Committee aide and now a political-science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “If the plan was to burnish his foreign-policy credentials and remind people of his leadership at the Winter Olympics, that was a very sensible idea on paper, but in practice it didn’t work out as the campaign had hoped.”
Republican strategist Ed Rogers, a former Reagan aide and a veteran of the Bush-Quayle campaign, awarded the trip a 4 on a scale of 10. “The question always is if you had to do all over again and get the exact same results, would you do it again?” he said. “Well, in this case, no. But it’s not that big of a deal.” [...]
Republican consultant John Feehery, a former House GOP aide, said that the problem boils down to the Romney campaign being unprepared for an unforgiving international spotlight. “The media is throwing fastballs at Mitt Romney’s head and he’s got to do a better job at ducking them,” he said. “What they didn’t anticipate was how hot the media glare was going to be. They wanted to go over there and not make any news and they ended up making some.”
When former Romney rival Rick Santorum, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor back in May, was asked if Romney’s trip was a success this morning on CNN, he twice dodged the question. “I think the long-term take from this is one that we can go out and make the differentiation between, what a world under Mitt Romney and a Republican administration would be versus the tattered relationships that we have with some of our best and longest and strongest allies,” Santorum said.