Republican consultant John Feehery, a former House GOP aide, said that the problem boils down to the Romney campaign being unprepared for an unforgiving international spotlight. “The media is throwing fastballs at Mitt Romney’s head and he’s got to do a better job at ducking them,” he said. “What they didn’t anticipate was how hot the media glare was going to be. They wanted to go over there and not make any news and they ended up making some.”

Feehery said, however, that none of Romney’s mistakes were fatal. Amateur sociology probably isn’t Romney’s calling, he said, but his remarks on the London Olympics had some truth to them, even if they didn’t go over all too well with Brits. “What we’re finding out about Romney is that he’s not a natural-born politician,” he said. “He speaks the truth almost too plainly and some people don’t like to hear it.”

GOP consultant Curt Anderson placed more of the blame on a gaffe-obsessed media intent on making mountains out of molehills. “The press is obviously bored. ‘Oh he opened the door with his left hand in Spain! How foolish! You’re not supposed to do that!’ ” he said. “I don’t think the voters are going to care about that.”