09/17/2012 04:19 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2012

Mitt Romney On Foreign Policy: Americans Don't Care About China, Russia, Iran

Convinced that the economy alone won't allow them to to win the presidential election, Mitt Romney's campaign has in recent weeks made halting attempts to highlight President Barack Obama's supposed weakness on foreign policy.

But in a closed-door fundraiser with donors that occurred at least three weeks ago, Romney apparently conceded that Americans "are not concentrated at all" on international hot spots like China, Russia, and Iran.

Based on public opinion polls, Romney may have been spot-on in his private moment of candor: Voters say they are far less concerned about international affairs than bread-and-butter economic issues. That has held true even after the American ambassador to Libya was killed in a violent attack last week.

Nevertheless, as of late Romney has seemed convinced that he can gain an advantage on foreign policy, bringing up all the places he himself said voters don't care about.

On Monday, Romney charged that Obama has "spent 43 months failing to confront China's unfair trade practices." In his speech at the Republican National Convention, he claimed that Obama is "eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election." And during the Democrats' convention, Romney said that the president has repeatedly "thrown [Israel] under the bus" while it grapples with a nuclear threat from Iran.

Over the course of the campaign Romney has also mentioned several times, although not in his nomination acceptance speech, his belief that the president should have extended an agreement with Iraq to keep thousands of American troops there.

But in the short video, Romney says that "The American people are not, are not concentrated at all upon China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the fundraiser occurred at least three months ago. It occurred at least three weeks ago.



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