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The Romney campaign embarks on a foreign excursion this week, starting with the London Olympics where Willard and Ann will sit in the owner's box to watch dancing horse Rafalca compete in dressage. The trip will highlight foreign policy 'bonafides' (evidence of qualifications or achievements) apparent only to NBC reporter Garrett Haake.

BOSTON — An impending overseas trip lasting six days provides Mitt Romney with the opportunity to highlight his foreign policy bonafides, but is also fraught with challenges for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, reflecting the delicate nature of international diplomacy.
Mitt Romney Absorbs French Culture

              Mitt Romney Absorbing French Culture

Scott Brown is not the only Repubican politician to have had secret meetings with foreign leaders and royalty.

British leaders are mentioned frequently by Romney on the campaign trail; the Republican is fond of referencing a conversation he claims to have had with one of the former prime ministers, who privately stressed to Romney the importance of American strength on the world stage.
In addition to this previous one, Romney now says he met with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr at his San Francisco fundraiser over the weekend. Willard bumped into Carr at their hotel and Carr requested a meeting with Willard's campaign, to whisper in Romney's ear that the rest of the world sees America in decline. And this can all be fixed with one budget deal.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Australia's foreign minister privately warned Sunday that foreign leaders see "America in decline," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said.
Romney said he met with Foreign Minister Bob Carr in a San Francisco hotel Sunday night shortly before a Republican fundraiser.
He said Carr suggested that America could improve that international perception "with one budget deal" that helps balance the budget.
"And this idea of America in decline, it was interesting [Carr] said that; he led the talk of American being in decline," Romney said at the fundraiser, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. "And if they're thinking about investing in America, entrepreneurs putting their future in America -- if they think America's in decline they're not gonna do it."
And a long article in today's Washington Post reads like a college application in 'my foreign experience'.

The article sums up Romney's foreign experience.

Romney, fond though he is of singing “America the Beautiful” and describing the “special gift” of his nationality, is, himself, no stranger to the wider world. His 21 / 2-year mission to France shaped his Mormonism. The internationalism at Harvard accented his education. His foreign travel as a young consultant, the early Central American investment in Bain Capital and the windfall he received from deals in Italy all boosted his signature business. He uses his chairmanship of the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, literally the world’s games, as Exhibit A to make his case as a turnaround artist.
Mitt's exposure to the world outside the United States starting with his family hosting a foreign exchange student from Italy. Mitt's mother wrote to the student's family saying the only Italians she knew were the Agnelli's and Pininfarina's (the Italian equivalent of the Kennedys or Fords, the article helpfully points out. He also was exposed at an early age to the need for fuel efficient vehicles.
In 1959, the Romney family opened its Bloomfield Hills home to Attilio Cortella, an Italian exchange student who had won a scholarship from the American Field Service to study in the United States.
Soon enough, young Mitt was bidding Cortella farewell with “ciaos” and “arrivedercis” and serenading him with the “Volare” chorus of the then-popular “Nel blu dipinto di blu.” On a road trip, Cortella expressed astonishment at how much gas the relatively small American Ramblers swallowed compared with the tiny Fiat 600s.
They then go on to talk about Romney's foreign activities in prep school - the American Field Services Club and the World Affairs Seminar. (Does anyone remember Republicans mocking President Obama at this point in the campaign for living in a foreign country as a boy?)  Next is his college deferments from military service to serve as a missionary in France, where he had one day off a week to catch glimpses of the countryside. He also gained exposure to the Middle East in their cuisine.
Romney went with friends in the seaside tourist town of Biarritz to take pictures of the Rocher de la Vierge, a rock outcropping that resembles the Virgin Mary, and then climbed a nearby hill to write “Mitt Loves Ann” in the wet sand. In Roman ruins outside Le Havre, a port city at the mouth of the Seine, he struck an authoritative pose next to a statue of Julius Caesar. In Paris, he ate couscous in the Latin Quarter.
The French he learned was the language of proselytizing.
Romney arrived in July 1966, learning the language in a Normandy class that emphasized the memorization of French along with proselytizing conversation and reciting of Joseph Smith’s 13 Articles of Faith (“10: Zion (the new Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent . . .”). He was both immersed in and separate from French culture,
The internationalism at Harvard refers to Romney speaking a few words of French to a French student.
He took that perspective to the Harvard business school, where he would sometimes address Eric Dufaure, a French student who described his crew as the “wild Euros,” as “Monsieur Dufaure” and then sprinkle his conversation with French bons mots to “show that we weren’t total aliens to him,” Dufaure said.
His international exposure continued in the business world where he befriended Benjamin Netanyahu at Boston Consulting, and traveled for business - though he never left the office.
Romney’s exposure to an international milieu continued after graduation from Harvard in 1975, when he befriended Benjamin Netanyahu at the Boston Consulting Group and began working often in Europe. The international business travel continued as he made the leap to Bain & Co., although his curiosity rarely took him out of the office.
They go on to talk about his first deals with Central American investors. This is what an LA Times article said about those investments.
WASHINGTON — When Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital in 1984, he struggled at first to raise enough money for the untested venture. Old-money families like the Rothschilds turned down the young Boston consultant.

So he and his partners tapped an eclectic roster of investors, raising more than a third of their first $37-million investment fund from wealthy foreigners.

Most of the foreign investors' money came through corporations registered in Panama, then known for tax advantages and unusual banking secrecy.

Previously unreported details, documented in Massachusetts corporate filings and other public records, show that Bain Capital was enmeshed in the largely opaque world of international high finance from its very inception.

The WaPo points to this as a positive example of Romney's foreign exposure. They go on to characterize his abilities to get along with those of other cultures.
In the company of the power brokers, Romney would ask what Bain should do differently to absorb the cultures and the business climates in the countries where it operated. And when friendly cracks were made at the expense of Americans, Tornquist said Romney would gamely respond, “Don’t be so damned French.”
One of Romney's biggest deals was the acquisition of an Italian phone directory. Romney alone made about $40 million from this single deal.
After some initial caution, Romney became more comfortable with foreign deals. Cuneo said that in 1998, Romney told him to “go ahead” and acquire an Italian telephone directory company, a deal that rode the Internet boom and made Bain more than a billion dollars, while netting tens of millions for Romney.
And not only does Romney remember his father marching with MLK, he remebers shaking Vladimir Putin's hand (no word on looking into his soul though).
In Moscow, Romney toured Red Square and shook hands with Vladimir Putin, according to Romney’s campaign. (Putin’s office said it had “no record” of any meeting.) In the middle of meetings with the International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, Romney cracked wise in French.
And to complete Romney's foreign exposure and expertise:
Bullock, who often traveled with Romney, believes that his friend and colleauge was deeply touched by foreign cultures.
While these puffed up examples of Willard's foreign policy exposure make me cringe in embarrassment, the article is having the desired effect on at least one commenter.
Where are the photos of Obama and his friends in front of his boyhood church and school? Who was Obama writing love leters to in high school and college?  

Romney is serving a religious mission while Obama snorts cocaine. Romney is earning top grades in simultaneous law school and MBA while raising a young family. Obama is attending school on a foreign student schlarship and his transcripts are all sealed. Romney is a success in business, elected office, and the Olympics. Obama has been a miserable failure. Yeah, I think I know who to vote for now. Thanks, WaPo.

10:51 AM PT: Looks like Romney's attempts to make President Obama look bad are boomeranging on him, with Australia's Bob Carr saying Romney twisted his remarks.

He said his exact comment to Mr Romney was: "America is just one budget deal away from ending all talk of America being in decline," Senator Carr said in a statement on Monday.

Senator Carr said his comment was in praise of US economic strengths.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Julie Bishop said Senator Carr's comments were being reported as implicit criticism of President Barack Obama's performance.

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