Josh Marshall wonders if Mitt Romney has experienced "his first big foreign stumble" before Mitt has even stumbled to someplace foreign.
Said, reportedly, the presumptuous nominee at a recent fundraiser in San Francisco:
And this idea of America in decline, it was interesting [Australia’s foreign minister] said that, he led the talk of America being in decline. See that’s not talk we hear about here as much as they’re hearing there. 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.
Marshall notes there are quasi-legit questions about the integrity of this quote, which I just don't see. The passage positively oozes with archetypal Romney-ness, from the candidate's poltroonish emphasis on the other guy as having "led the talk"; to his slippery misdirection of "See that’s not talk we hear about here as much as they’re hearing there"; to his related, robotic use of "decline" three times in a brief passage which denies widespread domestic talk of decline; to his characteristic view of economics through the exclusive lens of the investor class.
In short, none of it shocks--from its undiplomatic stumbling to its unpatriotic mean-spiritedness--while all of it rings quite familiar.