‘This Week’ featured some off base comments by campaign surrogates

Posted on July 29, 2012 by

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Senior adviser to the President, Robert Gibbs, (first picture) who appeared today with a counterpart in the Romney campaign, Kevin Madden, (second picture) began the misstatements:

Gibbs said a few minutes into the ABC show that Romney’s “expertise, quite frankly, is in outsourcing and offshoring.”

Not true. The candidate has other expertise.

A bit later, host Dowd spoke of Romney’s questioning whether London was ready for its Olympics. The former governor said some preparation was “disconcerting.” The comment received much negative reaction there and in this country.

Dowd said, “And is there a concern on y’all’s part that it’s the first time he’s on, on the stage, on the world stage, that people sort of now are and maybe he’s not prepared taking a step back and maybe he’s not prepared after what he said about the Olympics over there.”

We think that Romney’s wondering whether London is prepared probably reflects similar concerns expressed in the British press and his experience running a U.S. Olympics so we wouldn’t call it a significant error.

Romney tried to walk back the comments Thursday by praising the organizational effort and saying that he, too, made mistakes. But that didn’t stop the criticism which we see as excessive.

However Madden seemed to believe it was a gaffe, saying, “I don’t think that a gaffe or a You Tube moment is really going to make or break this particular election.”

Some make the point that you never criticize a country you’re visiting. Romney said there were a few things that were disconcerting. That was an ill-advised comment and a bit disrespectful but we believe the Democrats are making a mountain out of a molehill that probably won’t be consequential in the race for the White House. Unless the public believes a narrative that his various criticized comments indicate he wouldn’t be a good foreign policy president, the flap will likely be a nonfactor.

Our take is that foreign policy is developed by advisers and the president. Major pronouncements are planned and scripted. Still, the nation’s leader can, in other venues, make ill-advised comments. We all can expect that those close to him or her will help keep those to a minimum.

Gibbs said on the same subject, “I think it’s clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world, and I think the world is not ready for Mitt Romney.”

What is the evidence that it’s clear?

Madden dodged the question about whether there are real, substantive divisions in the two candidate’s foreign policies. He said Romney’s been to Israel four times and wants to send a strong message of support as a possible future president.

One can argue that the President has given a similar message so we don’t think this is a real substantive difference. Madden didn’t refer to any other world issue.

To offer your opinion about the advisers’ comments, contact:

the Obama campaign- http://barackobama.force.com/questions
the Romney campaign- http://www.mittromney.com/forms/suggestions