Romney hopes trip abroad adds foreign policy cred

(CBS News) LONDON -- Mitt Romney is getting ready for his first overseas visit as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

It's the kind of trip presidential candidates make as they establish their foreign policy credentials.

Last week, Romney was campaigning hard in key swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

London is a long way from Ohio or Pennsylvania, but coming here, in the middle of a heated election battle, is a strategic move on the part of the Romney campaign.

On "The Kudlow Report" on CNBC, Romney said, "The world looks for American leadership and American strength."

That's the message Romney will take on his seven-day trip to Europe and the Middle East.

The campaign says the trip is to "learn and listen," but it's also to burnish Romney's credentials on foreign policy.

He'll start in London, meeting with British officials, including Prime Minister David Cameron and former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He'll also attend the opening ceremonies for this year's Summer Olympics.

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The trip comes 10 years after Romney took over management of the beleaguered Salt Lake City Winter Games and solved their budget woes, an accomplishment he says is further proof he can solve problems on a big scale.

Then Romney heads to Israel, where he meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It will be Romney's fourth trip to Israel -- an important stop for Jewish voters, a key constituency in the swing state of Florida.

Then, Romney's on to Poland, another significant U.S. ally.

Romney has been critical of President Obama's handling of foreign policy, saying that, despite killing Osama bin Laden, the president has made America weaker.

In May, Romney told CBS News he'd give Mr. Obama "an 'F' across the board" on foreign policy.

But a fair number of Americans seem to disagree with that.

In the latest CBS News-New York Times poll, 47 percent of respondents said they thought the president would do a better job handling foreign policy, while 40 percent said Romney would.

To see Jan Crawford's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Jan Crawford On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent. She is from "Crossroads," Alabama.

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