Daily Kos: An example of Mitt Romney’s “honesty:”
- Mitt Romney on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: We can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.
- Mitt Romney on how he’d handle Iran: I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’
- Mitt Romney on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s current prime minister is not just a friend, he’s an old friend.
- Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Mitt Romney: I remember him [Romney] for sure, but I don’t think we had any particular connections, I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.
“I SUPPOSE,” Bibi shrugged, barely concealing his disdain. heh.
Kevin Drum ponders why Bibi so casually tossed Romney under the bus: “What’s interesting here isn’t that Romney appears to have exaggerated his relationship with Netanyahu. That’s a political misdemeanor. What’s interesting is that Netanyahu seems to be thoroughly uninterested in backing up Romney even a little bit. Mitt Romney? Yeah, I guess I’d recognize him if we passed on the street. He’s the one with the good hair, right? At the same time, he insists that his relationship with Obama is better than we think. This is probably just normal politics — why diss the American president in public, after all? — but it’s still an interesting juxtaposition.”
What can Romney do to earn Bibi’s favor? Maybe try going Full Metal Zionist?
TPM: World War End Times: “The Romney campaign had at time of writing on Friday sent out two separate e-mail press releases chiding the Obama administration for its “refusal to say whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” [...] I suppose it’s possible the Romney campaign is so unaware of the realities of the Middle East peace process, however moribund it may be, that they’re unconcerned with just how inflammatory an American president’s expression of support for an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be to the Arab world. But even with the stumbles Mitt Romney has made this week on the international stage, that seems unlikely. So, accepting that Romney is aware of the significance, it seems likely he’s prepared to signal a very real, very controversial departure from decades of U.S. peacemaking policy, and put the weight of his potential presidency behind a declaration that he believes Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. That would be a very big deal.”
And here you can see Buzzfeed Politics desperately trying to stir shit up, perfectly in sync with the Romney campaign. But as Josh Marshall points out above, in 2008 after Obama said Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel, “Palestinian leaders reacted with dismay [and the Obama] campaign quickly walked things back.”
Meanwhile on the Romney plane: Balloon Juice: “The campaign team shows off their superior organizational skillz.”
[original photo via]
Maddow Blog: “Oops: “Mitt Romney is making a big push for the Jewish vote. In classic Romney (i.e., clueless) form, his campaign scheduled a trip to Israel on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av.” Gershom Gorenberg added, “It seems no one on his staff checked a Jewish calendar” before scheduling his trip to Israel.”
Political Wire: “On the eve of Mitt Romney’s trip to Israel, a new Gallup poll finds 68% of Jewish Americans support President Obama for re-eelction, while 25% support Mitt Romney.”
Naturally, Buzzfeed Politics found some Jewish men in Israel who would happily judge a second Obama term based solely on Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Yep. Naturally. The President’s a secret Muslim, unless we need to bring up Rev. Wright from the 2008 playbook.
But you know what? I welcome more discussion about BOTH candidates’ religions and theological beliefs. I think we should know a little more about Mormonism and how it’s shaped the Mitt Romney we’ve come to know and shake our heads about today. Maybe Mitt’s visit to Israel is the perfect opportunity to finally open that discussion.