Romney in Israel to discuss Iran, which aide calls world’s ‘biggest foreign policy challenge’
July 28th, 2012
04:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney in Israel to discuss Iran, which aide calls world’s ‘biggest foreign policy challenge’

Tel Aviv, Israel (CNN) - In the latest leg of what’s become a high stakes overseas tour, Mitt Romney arrived in Israel late Saturday night to address the issue of Iran – or, as one of his aides described it, “the biggest foreign policy challenge the world faces.”

“I think, above all, the Iran challenge is something that will be a topic of discussion with Israeli officials over the next day,” Romney adviser Lanhee Chen said in a briefing to reporters on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s charter flight to Israel.

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The former Massachusetts governor is scheduled to hold a lengthy series of meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Sunday, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The governor always enjoys seeing the prime minister,” Chen said.

Romney will deliver a major foreign policy address Sunday evening. But his advisers cautioned the likely GOP nominee plans to stick to his pledge to avoid any criticism of President Barack Obama, who he is trying to unseat, while he’s on foreign soil.

He will also hold a fundraiser in Israel, which a campaign aide said Saturday that reporters will not be allowed to cover. That decision is a change in practice from an agreement the campaign and media outlets, including CNN, reached with the campaign last spring.

Aides to the candidate briefly taped up an Israeli flag on board the plane before its departure from Britain on Saturday, then lowered it as reporters began taking photographs.

Romney’s advisers had little to say about the uproar that erupted in Britain earlier in the week, when the candidate appeared to question London’s readiness to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

“Different folks have lots of different opinions about what happened,” Chen told reporters. He declined to comment on a report in the New York Times, which said an unnamed adviser blamed the mishap on “jet lag.”

Away from the Olympics controversy, Romney’s advisers said the GOP contender’s biggest takeaway from his visit with British officials is the U.K.’s growing worries about the ailing European economy.

“The concern about the European economy is very real,” Chen said.

Romney was accompanied on his journey to Israel by his wife and son, Josh, along with a small group of advisers.

The candidate did not address reporters on the five-hour flight from Britain to Tel Aviv.

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Filed under: 2012 • Iran • Israel • Mitt Romney
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Maybe he should stop in Syria on his way home and work out a peace deal !

    Romney should not be grandstanding on speculation and fear.

    Who is working for him in the CIA , I thought William Casey was dead .

    July 28, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. fernace

    I guess "listen & learn" is code speak for "campaigning"! A flip & a flop!! Forward- Obama 2012!

    July 28, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Why is this tool allowed to do this? He is not the POTUS...and hopefully never will be! Is Mittens going to share his plans with The rest of the world before the U.S.? So far all he's done is blame Obama for everything under the sun, but offers nothing new. We already know how Bush's mess ended up, what is going to be different under Mittens? Anybody?

    July 28, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  4. Rossbach

    The world's biggest foreign policy challenge is the failed and useless imperial policy of the US. Although the US has not officially been at war since September 1945, over 108,000 US service men and women have been killed since then. It is time to end the government's addiction to war and to get it to pay some attention to the sorry state of affairs at home. The last thing we need right now is another useless and expensive war in the Middle East.

    July 28, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I thought Mittens said Russia and Czech were our biggest enemy.

    July 28, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    From the Official Texas Republican Party Platform "United Nations – We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil. " Vote republican!

    July 28, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is the worst person that the baggers could put up. He is a clueless, tax evading, job destroyer who is hell bent on destroying the American middle class. After all, third world countries do not have unions, a middle class, and a decent standard of living.

    July 28, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Bruce

    and prob discussing the Muslim in the Whitehouse and his Mideast and world destruction program

    July 28, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Mike

    Romney will start a war

    July 28, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. Jack

    After Romney's gaffes in Britain, how can the Israelis even take this man serious?

    July 28, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. Mike

    Everyones watching the olympics so ho cares what Mtt says!

    July 28, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Mike

    Good timing Mitt

    July 28, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Dr. D. Miller

    This man is talking out the side of his neck if he trying to talk policy in Israel .....

    July 28, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. enuff

    He should not be discussing any kind of foreign policy with anyone. He is NOT president. He certainly has alot of "unnamed" advisers speaking for him.

    July 28, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, he has finally realized that the Soviet Union... Wait, Russia now is a major concern but not the top problem. I would like to know what he really wants to do for Israel. I don't know if he really understands the region.

    July 28, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. Richard T.

    He is there for the money, i.e. "fund raiser" meeting.

    Plutocracy at its most obvious pinnacle.

    July 29, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  17. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney discussing foreign policy with the Israelis and Palistinians ought to be a real hoot! What does Mitt the Twit know about foreign policy? Nothing!

    July 29, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. countertrans

    Dear people of Isreal,
    Romney is a good for nothing fool. Please do not take him seriously. this election he will fall and burn. our apology in advance for any thing foolish he says or does in the next few days.

    July 29, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  19. mk1

    No, I believe that the biggest foreign policy challenge we face is the possibility of Romney becoming president. That is a truly frightening thing indeed and does not bode well for the future of our great country.

    July 29, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. BeverlyNC

    Who is Romney to be discussing American foreign policy with Israel? Romney still does not know the Soviet Union is gone and repeatedly makes that mistake. He has called Russia our biggest problem which it is not. I certainly hope these countries he is visiting realize Romney does not represent the American leadership views or intelligence of their country and issues. Romney is a disaster domestically and should be only viiewed as an ignorant tourist abroad. How can he even talk to these nations when he does not know what he stands FOR from day to day. He has not even told the American People what he stands for or details of how he will create jobs, the economy, and handle the legislative mess Republicans have created in Congress. The RNC needs to cut their losses and name another candidate for President at their convention. They don't even have a viable VP candidate. No candidate. No platform. No solutions.

    July 29, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  21. chuck weidemann

    Keep the mouth zipped....the Romney robot is having his programs changed......

    July 29, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  22. Suzie

    I often wonder why is CNN so pro-Democrat?

    July 29, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Ask the current and all former Secretaries of State and they will tell you the military option is ALWAYS on the table. Mittens is just once again lying about President Obama in an effort to score points with his uninformed, bigoted base.

    Pathetic!

    July 29, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  24. Hello

    Romney exploring new places, and going where no President Obama has been before.

    July 29, 2012 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  25. abu musa

    obama is a complete failure in every aspect

    July 29, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
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