WASHINGTON -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney won't say what he makes of Mitt Romney's embarrassing trip to England this week, where he was rebuked by political leaders and the press for questioning London's preparedness for the Olympics. But that didn't stop Carney from indirectly jabbing Romney for not acting very presidential on his first trip abroad as the presumptive Republican nominee.
During his daily briefing on Friday, Carney demurred when asked how he would rate Romney's trip overseas. "I would not," he said to laughs, emphasizing that he only takes questions on policy, not politics. Still, he described what it takes to be the president of the United States, including working well with leaders of other countries.
"While the focus of this election cycle is the economy ... the presidency involves, as a huge component of the job, engagement in national security affairs, engagement with foreign leaders and countries around the world," Carney said. "And it is important work, even when the attention of others is elsewhere."
Carney went on to tout Obama's record of making the "safety and security of the United States" a priority. He cited Obama's success in ending the war in Iraq, increasing the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan in order to go after al Qaeda and building international consensus about the Iranian government being a problem.
"This is simply to say that foreign policy is a big part of the job," he said.
A Romney campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Romney certainly made a splash when he arrived in the United Kingdom this week. After he suggested on NBC News that London wasn't ready to take on the Olympics, London Mayor Boris Johnson mocked him at a 60,000-person event and Prime Minister David Cameron made fun of his stewardship of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, a place he described as being "in the middle of nowhere." Romney later changed his mind and said London is, in fact, ready.