Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel last week didn’t turn out so well. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee set out to burnish his foreign policy credentials but the whole adventure turned out to be a disaster. Even some Republicans campaign operatives thought so.
Another side note to the story is that many Europeans have no idea who Mitt Romney is. According to a Huffington Post journalist reporting from Madrid, in Spain, Romney “is like a complete unknown“:
Even though the U.S. presidential candidate just completed an (occasionally controversial) overseas tour, “Mitt, Mitt que?” is a refrain heard often here — including at the headquarters of the conservative Popular Party, Spain’s governing majority. [...]
“Who? Who’s that guy?” “I have no idea.” “I’ve never heard of that person in my life.” These are the answers of a group of Spaniards, ranging in age from 37 to 71, when asked about Mitt Romney. A 42-year-old math teacher even responded with, “Is that a computer program?”
“Right now, with the exception of people who are following current events in the U.S. very closely, Romney is a very little-known personality,” said Daniel Ureña, director of Mas Consulting in Spain, a firm that specializes in political campaigns and whose U.S. division works with Republicans.
A separate HuffPo story out today finds the same situation happening in France:
A swing through France was not on Mitt Romney’s agenda during his recent trip abroad, but no one here seemed to be disappointed. With the election of President Francois Hollande, the summer holidays, the crisis in the euro zone and various social plans, the French have their heads elsewhere. [...]
“The French were under-informed about Romney’s nomination, which is why he remains largely unknown,” said historian Francois Durpaire. …
For his part, Romney doesn’t have very nice things to say about Europeans. He regularly criticizes America’s European alllies. “I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what Europe has become,” Romney has said.