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. TAK

    I certainly hope that the people of Israel managed to see through this shamless charade of Romney's. At least John McCain was sincere in his stances.

    July 30, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  2. Norm

    A million dollars.
    I'm shocked.
    Don't we usually have to give "them" money????

    July 30, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Bob Goldson

    Rommney's remarks about Palestinians sound like early Hitler, raceist! Who is next Mexicans, Blacks?

    July 30, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  4. Bob Goldson

    Romney;s remarks about Palestinians sounds raceist! Who is next; Latinos, Blacks, Asians?

    July 30, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. enuff

    I do not believe that the way mormons view God is the same as the jewish view of God. Romney isn't completely touching the topic because he knows the mormon view would not be accepted so he is painting with a very broad brush. It is a sin of ommision... a lie. Since mormons believe that they become a god in a celestial kingdom, how is this going to be accepted by people who believe there is only ONE GOD – and to the Christian group that believes that Jesus is the son of God and the only true way to the Father?

    July 30, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  6. Yonni

    Only Money can buy soul, Mitt would have benefited a great deal. The Bishop has no moral character or core principle to be anything in the US government.

    July 30, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    You gotta admit. That Mitt Romney sure knows how to make a sales pitch to investors. That is why he picked to head up the SLOC. The Games were supposed to been 100% privately funded, and they were coming up a little short. Actually a whole lot short. Donations were running close to a half billion behind schedule when Romney took over.

    July 30, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are many problems that the Arabs have. One of which is that they never established the state of Palestine after 1948 when the modern state of Israel was declare and survived their fight. There doesn't seem to be a great desire to innovate any more amongst much of the Arab/Muslim population in the modern world. There are highlights here and there, but the Arabs in Hebron and other places don't seem to be doing much of that.

    July 30, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  9. Robert

    I don't think I like the idea of our presidential hopefuls to be raising money overseas. No matter the party, this is completely wrong!

    July 30, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. enuff

    first' expalin why other countries are being allowed to buy their way into our elections? second: did you notice that Adelson was on the left hand of Romney. Is there biblical significance in that? third, it's not all about money... Trying to compare the GDP of occupied Palestine and Jerusalem as a crowning acheivement? Really? Why is there a need for such a superiority complex?

    July 30, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. v_mag

    Mafiosi Sheldon Adelson, sitting to Rob-money's left. Get used to that image if America screws up and elects the George W. Bush clone in November.

    July 30, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. etesot_obe

    Why not? Since the founding of the republic, it used to government of the people, by the people and for the people.
    More than 2 centuries later, American government, especially in this season, will have Republican backers state: Governent of the money-soaked rich, by the tax-hiding and evading rich, and yes, for the Romney-look alikes. The only way out of this is for the ordinary patriotic Americans to vote against this money influence by voting for "poor"-candidate of either political situation. Democracy used to be peddled with ideas. Now Romney the money-man, is introducing money. Please reject this!

    July 30, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    So Mitt...was the press allowed into all your fundraisers? Only after you tried to keep them out and they screamed foul. I guess you didn't want them to hear your outright lies about Obama being put forth to the Israelis who you are trying to make out to be Obama's "who cares?" This trip has been a political disaster for you. You show no diplomacy. You undermine the president at every turn. Mistake after mistake. Why would anyone but the obedient sheep think you could handle ANY foreign issue??? Sheep rebuttals to come....

    July 30, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. steve

    Foreign money in US elections. That is just wrong.

    July 30, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. beevee

    Shameful. A rich beggar goes international. What politics can turn one into.

    July 30, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. Pete

    Yeah,one million in campaign contributions,are those from legal citizens or just from foriegn investors because of Citizens United ,its not transparent so they say who cares...Romney could have gotten more or is his gaffs leaving a trail of disbelief that someone as ignorent ,arrogent as him is actually trying to buy this election.It's a privilege and honor with many a citizen of foriegn countries dying just to get a chance to vote,we're spoiled taking it for granted every four years,but then complaining even thou some of us didn't take time to do just that vote, about the winning candidate,typically pathedic...

    July 30, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  17. Enough is Enough

    Mitt Congress is already an occupied territory do let the White House become one, stop kissing ass and let Israel know that their per capita GDP is high enough that they don't money from U.S. taxpayers to build illegal settlements on stolen land.

    July 30, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  18. Candy Taylor

    Foreign Money buying our politicians. Yep welcome to a Romney presidency!

    July 30, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. mike

    Adelson is a sleaze he is trying to buy the election while he is being investigated by the authorities

    July 30, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sugar daddies only gave $1 Millions ?

    July 30, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. Jason

    Umm... explain to me why we are getting money from non-US sources?

    July 30, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. rs

    No doubt that cash is destined for one of his many off-shore (tax free!) accounts. In a bigger questions- doesn't Mr. Romney know that Israel does't vote in American elections? Doesn't he realize how crass he looks getting cash from another nation?
    Doesn't he realize it is treasonous to promise U.S. support for a war we don't declare- especially one ehere there is no benefit for the United States?

    Oh, yeah. He's just a "successful" businessman. No morals, no ethics, just profit.

    July 30, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. chuck weidemann

    I think Mitt has finally said it.....everyone is jealous of his money and all his donors know how it feels!!! It sucks being successful....the worlds envy is cast upon America AND Israel so let's stick together and keep what we got because our culture is superior.....and they call Obama the elitist!!! Yes the USA is great because everyone has a chance to live and work in freedom as equals, a system that has grown through the hard work of It's people and our government....hand in hand united in our common goals of making our world a better place for our children. All our children... including those who have less!!!! How does this happen when someone with so much as a Mitt Romney wants to end a Dept. of Education???? Just how does that help????

    July 30, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. steve

    What's New??? The United States & Israel have had their hands in each others pockets since after WWII & the only reason Israel is where it is today is for US concerns in the Mid-east. Guess the 'jews' have a pot of gold to share with US Presidential contenders but it all comes with a price.

    July 30, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is time for the gaffer to stop showing his foreign policy ignorance. If the truth were known, Israelis donated $1 to Mittens, and Adelson made up the difference.

    July 30, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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