'Subtle endorsements' as world leaders weigh in on Mitt Romney and President Obama

Published: Friday, July 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

In March, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei remarked on Obama, saying, "Two days ago, we heard the president of America say: 'We are not thinking of war with Iran.' This is good. Very good. It is a wise word. This is an exit from illusion."

Obama's not the only one who may have support from other national leaders, however.

"The taboo of commenting on a fellow world leaders' election chances does seem a little silly at times," Joshua Keating wrote at Foreign Policy. "For instance, it seems pretty obvious that Benjamin Netanyahu would prefer to see his old friend Mitt Romney in the White House next year."

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mitt Romney met and later became friends in the late 1970s. While Netanyahu has tried to avoid favoritism in the presidential race, The New York Times quoted his friends as saying the Israeli leader has paid close attention to Romney's political fortunes.

"To the extent that their personal relationship would give Netanyahu entree to the Romney White House in a way he that he doesn't now have to the Obama White House, the prime minister would certainly consider that to be a significant advantage," said Martin Indyk, a U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany hasn't given an indication of her preference, but Romney's campaign team told Tagesspiegel that Romney has plans to meet with her before the November elections. German businesses normally favor Republicans in American election, Germany's The Local reported, but in 2008 Obama's campaign received more German politician donations than his opposition.

Germany has been leading the way on Europe's ongoing economic crisis, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble recently rejected Obama's criticism of the nation's actions, saying Obama should focus on the reduction of America's deficit and that it's easy to give advice to others.

During Romney's visit to Poland, former Polish president Lech Walesa, who won a Nobel Peace Prize and oversaw Poland's move to a post-communist state, endorsed Romney.

"I wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too," Walesa said. "Governor Romney, get your success. Be successful!"

"This is a powerful statement on Polish relations with the U.S. right now," Alex Storozynski, president of the Kosciuszko Foundation, a Polish educational and cultural group, told ABC News. "Poles in Poland are frustrated with the Obama administration."

A June 2012 Pew poll on Obama's foreign policy standings showed that approval rates for the president's international policies dropped by more than six points from 2009 in most countries, but fell by double digits in European and Muslim countries surveyed as well as Russia, Japan and Mexico.

However, pluralities of people in more than half of the countries in the poll want Obama to be reelected.

In a July speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, Romney accused Obama of having "diminished American leadership" around the world through his foreign policy and economic decisions.

"The president's policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in 70 years, exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify, compromised our national security secrets, and in dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved and apology where it is not due," Romney said. "American leadership depends, as it always has, on our economic strength, on our military strength and on our moral strength. If any of these falter, no skill of diplomacy or presidential oratory can compensate."

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