GOP candidate plans to visit with leaders in Israel, Poland, England

Taking a brief turn from the domestic issues that have dominated the campaign, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney kicks off a three-nation overseas trip Thursday that gives him the chance to showcase his differences with President Obama on the foreign policy front and to convince voters that he has the political chops to be a major world player.

Mr. Romney hopes to use the six-day swing to answer questions on voters’ minds about how he’d handle what remains a violent world — from the bloody civil war in Syria to the tensions over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, and the administration’s plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

The former Massachusetts governor’s campaign officials say their boss plans to leave politics at the water’s edge and instead use the trip to drive home the importance of “locking arms” with the nation’s allies — in particular England, Israel and Poland.

“The objective of Gov. Romney on this trip is to visit three stalwart allies and listen and learn about issues of importance to them — particularly those major challenges we are all facing with the Middle East in tumult right now, with Iran pursuing nuclear weapons and other issues of that nature,” said Alex Wong, Mr. Romney’s foreign policy director.

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