The Australian foreign minister has privately warned Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that foreign leaders see "America in decline."
That's according to Romney, who says he met with Foreign Minister Bob Carr in a San Francisco hotel Sunday evening shortly before a Republican fundraiser.
Romney says Carr suggested that America could improve that international perception "with one budget deal" that helps balance the budget.
A Romney spokesman says the foreign minister requested the private meeting.
The news likely comes as quite an embarrassment for supporters of President Obama. Not only has the president apparently managed an America "in decline," but one of his campaign platforms was restoring America's image to the rest of the world after eight years of George W. Bush.
In fact, on January 19th he said his administration had already accomplished the goal.
“What we were also able to do, I think, is to restore a sense of America as the sole, indispensable power," the president said, "a country that, whether it’s responding to an earthquake or a tsunami, or it’s dealing with a dictator that is about to ruthlessly butcher his people, we aren’t out there alone."
Mitt Romney is scheduled to launch his first trip abroad as his party's presumptive presidential nominee later this week. He's set to meet with leaders in England, Israel and Poland, who may have similar words of advice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.