“I think it offends people’s sense of morals and ethics,” said Grahame Morris, a lawmaker from the opposition Labor Party. “Barclays should stop promoting candidates that are intent on deregulating the markets.”
In Israel, Romney will attempt to strike a contrast with Obama, who has not visited the country while in office and has had a cool relationship with Netanyahu, aggravated by disagreements over how to promote peace with the Palestinians.
American Jews living in Israel, many of them religiously observant and politically conservative, voted overwhelmingly for Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), in the 2008 presidential election, and Obama is widely considered less than friendly to the policies of the right-leaning Israeli government. That has appeared to ensure Romney a warm welcome.
“He will be received with presidential honor, due both to love of the candidate and hatred of his rival,” Yossi Sarid, a left-leaning columnist and former lawmaker, wrote in the liberal newspaper Haaretz.
In Poland, the last leg of his journey, Romney will find himself in a country where Obama is substantially less popular. A Pew Research Center poll from June showed that 50 percent of those asked had confidence in the U.S. president — far lower than in Western Europe. But on the streets of Warsaw, there has been little attention paid to Romney’s trip.
At the same time, Romney’s status as a candidate rather than an elected leader has led to a delicate dance of protocol, with Tusk opting to receive Romney in his home town of Gdansk, outside the Polish capital.
But Romney might schedule a speech on foreign policy while in Poland. Sources familiar with the planning in Poland said the candidate’s advisers want 1,000 to 2,000 people to attend, a figure that Polish organizers say could be hard to achieve.
Yet some Polish media reports have portrayed Romney’s trip as a reassurance of the traditionally close relationship between the Republican Party and Central Europe.
“There are less and less people in Washington who are familiar with Central Europe,” said Bartosz Wisniewski, a U.S. analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. “Mr. Romney has these kinds of guys on his team. We should seize this chance.”
Philip Rucker in Washington, Joel Greenberg in Jerusalem, Eliza Mackintosh in London and Wojciech Cegielski in Warsaw contributed to this report.