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. James

    You americans really want what I can only describe as a muppett talking with the Israeli's about Iran..... LOL Winding them up more like

    July 29, 2012 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  2. papajeuhn

    This guy is not the President nor Department of State... so why is he putting his nose where it does not belong by having such discussions concerning US Foreign Policy? Its about votes = his self interests.... not the interests of the US people.

    July 29, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  3. ETW

    Mitt the twit = GWB part II. Foot in mouth disease will spread like the plague..... That's all we need is another American president whose sole purpose is to completely destroy our international relationships.

    July 29, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  4. philhuggins

    But Romney just said, while in England, that he believed it was the job of the president to discuss foreign policy.

    July 29, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  5. Marie MD

    OMG! There's is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for you to discuss with anyone in other countries. You are NOT our president. You will NEVER be our president.
    It's all the photo ops and I see that you didn't dare set foot in Germany where our REAL President brought in crowds you will NEVER see if they put all those tiny little groups you are amassing as your travel around the country together.
    You made a fool of yourself in England. You are hiding behind closed doors in Israel (so like you to hide everything) and Poland?

    July 29, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Mike in Texas

    I thought is was Russia? Venezuela? Oh right, for Mitt, it's the flavor of the day. I guess he will tell a different story in Poland.

    July 29, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. Thinker23

    philhuggins... Are YOU the President? If not WHY are you discussing foreign policy here?

    July 29, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. Wake up people

    Hey Willard, the United States has one President at a time and sorry to be the one to have to tell you BUT you're not him. His name is President Barack Obama, and he will be reelected. So you and Queen Anne can go home and hire an illegal elevator operator for your car elevator.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 29, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Wake up people

    And don't forget to show us those taxes!

    July 29, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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