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Romney: A foreign-policy push and a big haul.

Politico’s Martin reports that the Romney campaign is considering a foreign-policy push this summer with a trip to Europe, coinciding with the Olympics. It would start out in Reno, NV, at the VFW’s Convention, then Romney would make a major speech in Great Britain, then move to Israel, Germany, and Poland. Romney was always thought to likely at least make a trip to the Olympics to highlight his role in saving the 2002 Salt Lake Games. (A horse he owns will also compete in dressage.) He’ll skip Afghanistan, because “his team fears, he’d pressed to say more about his plans for the country.” The trip is reminiscent of what candidate Obama did in 2008, trying to burnish his credentials and help Americans see him as president.

“Romney’s June haul easily trumps his previous fundraising best. He pulled in $77 million in May, outdoing Obama for the first time this campaign,” the Washington Post writes. Obama holds the record for single-month haul with $193 million in September 2008.

“Mitt Romney is planning to fortify his communications and messaging team by adding seasoned operatives, advisers close to the campaign said Thursday, after withering criticism from prominent conservative voices that his insular team has fumbled recent opportunities,” the Washington Post’s Rucker reports. It started with a Murdoch tweet criticizing the professionalism of Romney’s staff, then a brutal editorial from the influential Wall Street Journal yesterday.

“Mr. Murdoch has never been particularly impressed with Mr. Romney, friends and associates of both men say,” the New York Times writes. “The two times Mr. Romney visited the editorial board of The Journal, Mr. Murdoch did not work very hard to conceal his lack of excitement. ‘There was zero enthusiasm, no engagement,’ said one Journal staff member who was at the most recent meeting in December. … Mr. Murdoch’s dim view of Mr. Romney points to a palpable disconnect between the two men, one that has existed since Mr. Romney’s first run for president four years ago, people who know them both said. More than a half-dozen friends and advisers to the two, speaking mostly anonymously to reveal private and frank conversations, said the Murdoch-Romney relationship could be summed up simply: They do not have much of one.”

The Washington Post: “Mitt Romney is planning to fortify his communications and messaging team by adding seasoned operatives, advisers close to the campaign said Thursday, after withering criticism from prominent conservative voices that his insular team has fumbled recent opportunities. Romney’s advisers insisted that he would keep his inner circle intact amid growing concerns about the Republican presidential candidate and his campaign. The tempest began with a weekend tweet from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and burst Thursday onto the pages of his newspaper the Wall Street Journal, as its conservative editorial board opined that Romney’s advisers were “slowly squandering an historic opportunity” to beat President Obama.”

Super Saturday… “In the first of a series of massive volunteer mobilization efforts, the campaign and the Republican Party will undertake ‘Super Saturday,’ a day when GOP volunteers call and canvass hundreds of thousands of swing-state voters, just as they will before Nov. 6,” USA Today writes. “The goal is not just to know which voters are on board with Romney, but to test the presidential campaign's ability to turn out the vote — something the GOP struggled with in 2008. ‘It's a way for us to stress-test the network,’ said Rick Wiley, political director for the RNC, which is running the voter contact effort jointly with the Romney campaign. The results will be tracked in real time through software applications that allow volunteers to enter information into their cellphones on the voter's doorstep. Information from phone calls is also recorded. A "dashboard" allows Wiley and campaign staff to monitor results as they happen.”

The New York Times points out that there were plenty of times Romney called his Massachusetts mandate a tax: “As the Massachusetts governor and then as a presidential candidate, Mr. Romney spent the next six years describing in a variety of different ways the possible punishments for ignoring the Massachusetts mandate: as ‘free-rider surcharges,’ ‘tax penalties,’ ‘tax incentives’ and sometimes just as ‘penalties.’ But regardless of the terms he used, his intentions were clear: Massachusetts residents who chose not to buy health insurance would see their state income taxes go up.”