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Clinton Camp Not Planning Foreign Trip, Citing State Department Experience

In the past two election cycles, presidential nominees have embarked on campaign trips overseas to gain international exposure and show off their foreign policy chops.

But this year, don’t get any hopes up for a photo-op of Hillary Clinton at the Western Wall in Jerusalem or shaking hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Clinton campaign has now all but ruled out the possibility of the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state taking a foreign trip between now and Election Day in November, ABC News has learned.

In recent months, aides to Clinton have ruminated about the appeal of a foreign trip (they believe she would be well-received and welcomed by countries concerned by a Donald Trump presidency), but ultimately the decision comes down to time and her experience.

“To date our assessment has been that it just does not ever make sense to do that given the amount of experience she has on an international stage and in international security,” Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told ABC News, referring to Clinton’s extensive foreign travel as secretary of state.

“So, if we had more time, it might be something that we would do. But at this point they haven't found it to be worth how much time we would lose here.”

Palmieri explained that the focus of Clinton’s travel the next 94 days would instead be on the battleground states. And, she added, while a foreign trip is not something they’re considering now, “that doesn’t mean that something could happen in the world where all of a sudden it would make sense.”

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Before the campaign had reached this conclusion, some aides had vocalized Clinton travel to Europe or the Middle East — a more typical destination for presidential candidates. Others in the campaign tossed around the idea of Latin America, where she could make a pitch to Latino voters.

The campaign, aides say, is now discussing whether to have Bill Clinton or her vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, who speaks fluent Spanish, travel overseas instead on Clinton’s behalf.

Meanwhile, Trump — who earlier this summer traveled to Scotland for the opening of one of his golf courses — has also made no plans for an official campaign trip overseas, but recently said he’s still open to it.

When asked last week about whether he plans to travel to Israel, as he said he would in December, Trump told reporters: “I don't know. I don't know. I haven't set my schedule yet. It could happen.”

PHOTO: Democratic presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, seen on large TV screens, makes a speech in front of the Victory Column in Berlin on July 24, 2008. Sebastian Willnow/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, seen on large TV screens, makes a speech in front of the Victory Column in Berlin on July 24, 2008.

It’s only in recent years that it’s become tradition for presidential nominees to travel overseas during the election year.

In 2008, both Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama took overseas trips prior to their party’s conventions.

McCain traveled to Canada and Latin America, where he discussed his differences with his opponent on trade. Obama — considered to be light on foreign policy experience then — traveled to both Iraq and Afghanistan and then across Europe, where he famously attracted a crowd of roughly 200,000 in Berlin.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is presented with a booklet as he visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem, July 29, 2012. Dan Balilty/AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is presented with a booklet as he visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem, July 29, 2012.

In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney traveled to Europe and Israel.

Although Romney had hoped the journey would prove him to be an international statesman, it didn’t prove to be so fruitful. After a series of rhetorical mishaps, Romney returned home to headlines reading, “Is Mitt Romney a Loser?” and a Washington Post op-ed dubbed his trip the “Romney Tour ’12 – Gaffepalooza.”

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