Mitt Romney bested Barack Obama in the first presidential debate but in doing so he made another foreign policy gaffe. During the debate he was critical of how Spain has handled its economy and his remarks, erroneous, have raised the ire of Spaniards.
Romney implied that Spain has gotten itself into its current economic mess through government overspending. However, while Spain has a high unemployment figure they maintain they have not gotten there through spending, as Romney suggested.when he said he didn't want to take the U.S. "down the path of Spain."
That country has in fact imposed numerous measures of austerity in the recent past and do not blame their current recession on overspending. As the Washington Post said Sunday "the collapse of a property bubble that had fueled more than a decade of booming economic growth" in Spain is the culprit for their current woes. Spain's government in fact spends less than other European countries with healthy economies like Germany and they remain proud of social programs and their benefits to Spaniards.
Spanish react to Mitt Romney comment
The deputy prime minister for Spain, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, was one of many Spanish leaders unhappy with the GOP leader and she rushed to defend her country. “What I see is ignorance of what is reality, but especially of the potential of the Spanish economy,” she said on Friday. De Santamaria added: "but don't worry, we will try to educate" those who are ignorant, implying Romney was in need of education on the subject.
Other Romney foreign policy missteps include saying in March that Russia - whom he referred to as the Soviet Union - is America's number one world "adversary," ahead even of Iran. He landed in the U.K. days before the opening of the summer Olympics and criticized the country's handling of the games. Romney also told a fundraiser Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever" in peace and on a trip overseas called Palestinians "culturally inferior" to Israelis.
The former governor of Massachusetts has also been highly critical of other countries, such as Greece and Italy, both during the campaign to win the GOP nomination and during the election run. During a recent crisis in which Americans were killed in Libya, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to that country, Romney got his facts wrong when he rushed to criticize the administration's response.
He will have a chance to mend some of his foreign policy fences when he makes a speech on foreign policy Monday at the Virginia Military Institute and then again during the final presidential debate, a foreign policy debate, in Boca Raton, Florida on October 22.