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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Romney to visit Israel?

Mitt Romney has said all along that the first country he would visit as President would be Israel. But will he visit Israel as a candidate as well? Well, maybe.
Romney last visited Israel in January of [2011], before he had formally declared his candidacy, and was hosted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem residence. He also visited Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan on that trip.

Netanyahu issued a statement after their meeting saying the two men discussed security issues, including the threat posed by Iran. Romney has been highly critical of Obama’s handling of the Iranian nuclear drive. Notably, in a March 5 article in the Washington Post, Romney described Obama as America’s “most feckless president since (Jimmy) Carter,” warned that with Obama in the White House Iran was on course to acquiring nuclear weapons, and vowed that, if elected, he would take “every measure necessary” to “check the evil regime of the ayatollahs.”

Republican lawmakers are encouraging Romney to visit Israel ahead of the US presidential elections, saying that such a trip would push more American Jewish voters into his camp, and have a wider positive impact on his campaign.

An American Jewish Committee survey last month showed Obama with 61 percent of the Jewish vote, far lower than the 78 percent he scored among Jews in exit polls in 2008. The same poll put Romney at 28 percent among Jewish voters, an improvement over the 22 percent garnered by the previous GOP nominee, John McCain, in 2008.

Republicans told the Congressional newspaper The Hill that a trip to Israel would emphasize the fact that Obama has yet to visit Israel during his term of office, and thus give Romney an edge in the upcoming US elections. Media reports indicate Romney may take the advice and visit.
And in case you missed it, here's one more reminder about Obama's visits to Israel.
Obama visited Israel in 2008 while he was a presidential candidate but has not been back since. During his presidency he has visited some 30 other countries.
And that doesn't count all the countries Michelle has visited on vacation. Heh.

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