Romney Begins Overseas Tour as Obama Pledges to Reduce Gun Violence

Posted July 26th, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London Thursday as he begins a three-nation tour aimed at boosting his foreign policy credentials.

The presumptive Republican Party nominee arrived in the British capital Wednesday for talks with Mr. Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and former prime minister Tony Blair. Romney will also make an appearance at Friday's opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games, before traveling to Israel and Poland.

Romney is facing criticism about a recent story in the British Daily Telegraph which quotes an unidentified Romney adviser that Mr. Obama, the first black U.S. president, did not fully appreciate the shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” that underscores the relationship between the United States and Britain. Vice President Joe Biden called the remarks “a disturbing start” to Romney's trip.

In an interview with NBC News, Romney said the two nations share “a very common bond” and that he believes President Obama shares this view.

The president traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday to address a gathering of the National Urban League, a prominent African American civil rights and economic advocacy group.,

He discussed the recent mass shooting spree in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater last Friday.

“I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage. But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

Mr. Obama says methods to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from purchasing weapons, such as background checks, should not be controversial, but instead “should be common sense.”

Also on Wednesday, the commission that oversees presidential debates announced three of them will take place in October at the University of Colorado in Denver; Center College in Danville, Kentucky; and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The lone vice presidential debate will also take place in October, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.