U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seeking to boost his foreign policy credentials as he starts an overseas tour with stops in Europe and Israel.
The presumptive Republican Party nominee starts the trip Wednesday in Britain, where he will spend time for the opening of the Summer Olympic Games and meet with Prime Minister David Cameron. He then travels to Israel, where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before wrapping up his trip in Poland.
President Barack Obama embarked on his own European trip with speeches to large crowds while he was the Democratic nominee in the 2008 election.
On Tuesday, Romney gave a strong critique of President Barack Obama's foreign policy record, accusing the Obama administration of not being tough enough with Iran, China and Russia, and not being supportive enough of Israel.
And while Romney's campaign says he will avoid criticizing the president while overseas, the former Massachusetts governor had to respond to criticism that nearly coincided with the start of his trip Wednesday.
A report from the Britain's Telegraph quoted an unnamed Romney adviser as saying that President Obama could not fully understand the depth of the relationship between the United States and Britain because he cannot fully appreciate the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage." Representatives for Romney disputed the comments and said they did not reflect the candidate's beliefs. The Obama campaign strongly criticized the comments quoted in the report.
Public opinion polls suggest that foreign policy issues will not play a crucial role in this year's presidential election, which will likely be dominated by economic issues. The polls also show that Americans consider foreign policy a strength for the president, while Romney gets higher ratings on how he would handle the economy.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.