Romney raises more than $1 million in Jerusalem
July 30th, 2012
08:20 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney raises more than $1 million in Jerusalem

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's final stop in Israel – a fund-raising breakfast at a historic hotel in central Jerusalem Monday – was a chance for the presumptive Republican nominee to describe in personal detail the impact of his trip to the country.

It was also an opportunity to bring in more than $1 million to his campaign coffers, and make inroads with a few of the Republican Party's biggest donors, including the Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who sat directly to Romney's left at the breakfast.

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Speaking about his two day stay in Jerusalem, Romney said he was again impacted by the city's profound spiritual significance.

"I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God," Romney told the group.

Joining Romney at the King David Hotel was his wife Ann, who also accompanied him Sunday for a trip to Jerusalem's Western Wall, and his son Josh. Both Romney's wife and son spoke to the donors, which included Adelson and his wife Miriam, and Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets.

Adelson was a major backer of Newt Gingrich during the GOP primary, donating tens of millions to the super PAC supporting the former House speaker. In June he made a major donation to the super PAC supporting Romney, and a source with knowledge of his plans said he could donate as much as $100 million to GOP causes this election cycle.

Adelson – whose wife Miriam is an Israel-born physician – is also a major backer of Birthright, which helps finance trips to the country for Jewish young people.

At Monday's fund-raiser, Romney drew a connection between Israel and America, saying both were successful countries that others were trying to harm.

"We face some real challenges, nonetheless, and perhaps in part because of the great success of these places, this home of yours, my home of America, that some are troubled by our success and seek to bring us down," Romney said.

The candidate compared Israel's GDP with other Middle Eastern countries, saying higher personal wealth among citizens was an indication that Israel was accomplishing something its neighbors were not.

"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," Romney said.

Figures on the United Nations' website actually indicate a much greater disparity between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel had a per capita GDP of $27,060 in 2009, while the 2009 per capita GDP of the occupied Palestinian territory was listed as $1,367.

Citing the book "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations," Romney detailed his interpretation of author David Landes' thesis.

"He says if you can learn anything from the economic history of the world, it's this: culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things."

Ann Romney, speaking about her son's first trip to Israel, said it was impossible not to be "touched" when visiting Jerusalem's holy sites.

"I think your heart would have to be made of stone not to feel what is still here, with the molecules of the stones, and everything, still testifies of something that was so extraordinary that happened in this place," Ann Romney said.

Monday's fund-raiser was the final stop in Jerusalem, which also included meetings with Israeli leaders and a speech. The candidate's final stop on his week-long foreign tour is Poland.

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Filed under: Israel • Mitt Romney
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Bootstomper

    This just in,Romney tells Netanyahu that he was born in Israel and he's not Mormon.

    July 30, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. king

    adelson probably donated all that 1 million since he swore that he was going to donate 100 million to romney. hey there is 99 million left to go, to make sure that more jobs from nevada is outsourced to china. i wonder if romeny win, and the financial sector take a tumble again. i wonder if these guys would want their money back from romney. hey youve got to admitt that the financial sector is the most powerful in history, just taking a dip will look like disaster to the romney presidency.

    July 30, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Puddin

    It should be unlawful to raise money outside the US for US elections. I guess it's come down to just about anyone can buy us.

    July 30, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. MaryM

    Raise all the money you want Mitt. You will be elected President of the U.S.

    July 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. namryan

    This made me throw up a little bit... How is it possible that Mr. Romney gets bought so blatantly by special interests and people and still be a viable candidate for presidency is beyond me!

    July 30, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Chumlee

    What a pitiful duo the Romneys are

    July 30, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. spenteco

    Blood-sucking gambling czar plans to spend upwards of 100 million bucks on lil GOPers this election cycle and the majority of the SCOTUS says this behavior does not give the perception of corruption. That is the power of the top 1%ers. Communist money straight from the casinos of Red China into the coffers of Newt, who called Mittens everything but honest, and now Mittens himself. Big money buys the winners in the lil GOPers' world. Now the czar has bought into the nominee's game, regardless of what he thinks of him because he hates unions so much he feels he must destroy the Democratic party in order to bust unions. He is in for a big surprise when he faces his maker. According to Mittens' faith, the czar will spend eternity in the same hell as his brothers and sisters of Islam. Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

    July 30, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. enuff

    Maybe Romney can tell us how many Jews he helped baptize in the mormon faith after their deaths in the holocaust?

    July 30, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. v_mag

    When politicians talk about nuclear weapons in the Middle East, they are always referring to Pakistan or Iran. The main nuclear power there is ISRAEL. They threaten the entire region with nuclear annihilation, and no U.S. politician takes any notice. In fact, many on the right, including Rob-money, seem to egg Israel on when it hints it might use nukes against a neighbor.

    I'm sick and tired of American politicians on both sides being servile and wimpy when it comes to confronting Israel. We should demand that Israel get rid of its nukes, make peace with its neighbors, and allow an independant Palestinian state. We should cut off all military aid to Israel. We would all be safer then.

    July 30, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Brian

    Mitt sure knows how to hunt down the dollars. If the Girl Scouts needed a new leader, Mitt's your guy.

    July 30, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Bob

    Is Romney running to be the leader of the United States or Israel? HIs shameless pandering to Israel and American Jews is disgusting - all because he wants their money (and votes). Well he lost mine. I want a president who puts AMERICAN interests first.

    July 30, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Mitt the dit witt

    So since Isreal has a high GDP than Palastine, this means god has blessed Isreal and cursed Palastine.. and other middle eastern countries. Let us now translate that to the poor back home in the United States. Mitt, the mormon, feels that since god blessed the rich.. they are better loved than the poor.

    July 30, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Canuck

    "some are troubled by our success and seek to bring us down"

    Ah, that old chestnut – nothing to do with America's interfering in places where they don't belong, huh Mitt?

    July 30, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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