Romney Looks to Rebound in Israel
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney started his overseas trip on the wrong foot. Even before he landed in London, controversy hounded him. It looks like he wants to rebound in Israel, whose links with the United States have been one of the topics during the presidential campaign.
Israel is the second leg of Romney’s overseas trip, which is aimed at improving his foreign policy credentials in his attempt to win against Democratic President Barack Obama in November. The trip has already faced obstacles right from the start. He questioned whether London was ready to host the Summer Olympics, which he took back after he was rebuked by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Romney hoped that he faces less challenges in Israel as he promises stronger ties between the United States and Israel if he wins in November. He and conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are friends. They are scheduled to meet Sunday before Romney gives a speech.
His visit to Israel coincides with the Jewish fast day that commemorates tragedies that have occurred to the Jewish people. He will deliver a message on Iran’s nuclear program. Senior national security aide Dan Senor said that Romney believes the threat of Tehran developing a nuclear weapon should be taken seriously.
President Obama wants to avoid a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Senor told reporters that Romney believes Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons that are threats to Israel and the United States.
After his speech Sunday, Romney will end his trip on Monday with a fundraiser from a crowd of Jewish Americans who live in Israel. It was declared off limits to news media. Romney’s campaign gave no explanation for the decision. They said that it was to keep distractions out of the venue.
The Romney campaign kept fundraising events closed to the press for months but it began allowing reporters into events held at public places. It still kept media away from fundraisers held at private residences.