Romney: 'Can't imagine saying no' to Netanyahu meeting
September 12th, 2012
01:40 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney: 'Can't imagine saying no' to Netanyahu meeting

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused campaign efforts Wednesday on putting a dent in President Barack Obama's foreign policy, including invoking reports that the administration refused a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Romney said at a campaign event that as president, he "can't imagine ever saying no" to a meeting with the Israeli leader.

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Romney's remarks on Israel came after the GOP candidate's continued hammering of the administration's response to attacks on two United States' diplomatic posts in Egypt and Libya, killing four in the U.S. offices in Benghazi.

Romney's team altered a campaign event in Jacksonville, Florida, Wednesday to deliver remarks on the attacks, offering condolences to the affected families and, notably, handing more pointed criticism to Obama for what the Republican candidate said was sympathy for the attackers.

While greeting supporters after the scheduled event, Romney was also asked about his views on Israel.

Romney reiterated both his support for the U.S. ally and his attacks on the president's foreign policy, saying, "I can't ever imagine if the prime minister of Israel asked to meet with me, I can't imagine ever saying no. They're our friends. They're our closest allies in the Middle East."

The Obama administration has pushed back on reports that the White House turned down requests for a meeting from Netanyahu to discuss, in person, threats to Israel by Iran's nuclear program, releasing a statement Tuesday saying there was no such request and no meeting was denied.

Netanyahu is scheduled to be in New York later this month. The White House statement did not say whether a request to meet in New York was either made or denied.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    What's with this guy putting the cart in front of the horse?

    September 12, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Keep us all on our heels...

    Mitt can't imagine not kissing the butt of Isreal... Mitt can't imagine how a president could look out for all the countries and not just one. Mitt could not imagine ever sending his sons to fight a war, but he loves the thought of sending ours over to defend Isreal from Iran.

    September 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    "The Obama administration has pushed back on reports that the White House turned down requests for a meeting from Netanyahu to discuss, in person, threats to Israel by Iran's nuclear program, releasing a statement Tuesday saying there was no such request and no meeting was denied."

    "Netanyahu is scheduled to be in New York later this month. The White House statement did not say whether a request to meet in New York was either made or denied."

    Which is it, CNN? A request was made, or it wasn't.

    September 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    I'm so fedup with his ignorance that I just can't wait until November gets here. Willard is truly a disgusting and pathetic individual.

    September 12, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Alex van Huizen

    Suddenly the foreign politics candidate? What a jerk! To put politics over lives of other people. Also about Libya this jerk had a lot to say. Go home

    September 12, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Netanyahu has always been a tool of the republican party because of the rule he exerted over the Bush administration. Other leades in Israel do not agree with his involvement in American politics.

    September 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    There he goes again pandering. This guy is so fake it's making me sick. Seriously! Republicans, really? Is this the best you can come up with? This flip flopping, tax evading, lying panderer.

    September 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. TY

    This is interesting the is from Morning Joe this am.
    Joe Klein, Time's political columnist and author of six books, said the war talk coming from Israel's leadership, in which the country's prime minister appeared to be pushing the United States toward military action was "absolutely outrageous and disgusting."

    On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly criticized the United States for not doing more to thwart Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    "The world tells Israel 'Wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?'" Netanyahu said Tuesday, speaking in English.

    "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," he added, addressing a news conference with Bulgaria's prime minister.

    "I don’t think I’ve ever, in the 40 years I’ve been doing this, have heard of another example of an American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly and trying to influence an American election as blatantly as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now," Klein said during Morning Joe Wednesday. "I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. It’s not a way that friends treat each other. It’s cynical and brazen."

    While the United States and Israel continue to argue over what diplomatic steps are necessary prior to any military action, Klein called war with the country, "a fool’s errand." "It would be a ridiculous war," he said.

    September 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Wow, CNN...just....wow. So you're going to completely avoid reporting on how false Mittens' attacks are based on the chronology of events and, yet again, carry his water in service to your holy false equivalency narrative? His attacks on this one are verifiably, demonstrably and undeniably FALSE. This isn't a matter of "opinion." It is a matter of THIS IS HOW THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM WORKS: YOU CANNOT CONDEMN SOMETHING THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED YET. Talk about sweeping physics under the rug. You are disgusting for reporting it in this manner as though it can all just be chalked up to he-said-she-said. It's one thing when the issue is complicated issue like Medicare savings versus cuts and people are not going to understand it anyway...but this is blatant, outright LYING by Mittens and the GOP/Teatrolls. You repeat his accusations and attacks without any critical analysis and thereby help him misinform the public. Good for you. I hope the ad revenue helps you sleep at night. Jerks.

    And where's Costello's and Blitzer's apologies for doing the same thing on live television this morning?

    September 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Expat American

    Sounds like Romney is lying again...and again...and again. Before we know it, he's going to tell us another story about eating dinner off of his ironing board with Ann.

    September 12, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Sandy

    Netanyahu DOESN'T RUN THE UNITED STATES! Why would the President bow down to him?

    September 12, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Kenneth

    Mitt Romney has absolutely no foreign policy credentials. From his inappropriate statements during hie "overseas" publicity tour to this statement about turning down a meeting with Netanyahu. Yes, Israel is a valued ally, as it should be, but The President of the United States should not ever insinuate that he holds one foreign dignitary in higher regard than any other. By insinuating that he would NEVER turn down a meeting with Israel indicates to me that Mitt would not only be a puppet to the American Rich and privileged but also to Israel by by ensuring that he is at the prime ministers beck and call. Two in the morning, Netanyahu has a craving and calls Mitt, "Hey Mitt get over here and bring me a nuclear weapon and a couple of drones". Mitt's reply, "Sure thing Net, I'm on my way". He would NEVER refuse Netanyahu or Israel correct? I admit this is an extreme perception but we live in an extreme world!

    September 12, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Romney said at a campaign event that as president, he "can't imagine ever saying no" to a meeting with the Israeli leader.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The only guy Obama never say's no to ( outside of Hollywood of course ) is Union Leader Richard Trumka.

    September 12, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Romney is a yes man !

    A flip flop yes man, with daddy issues who only wont is to be the top dog CEO .

    If the the Israel's hit Iran , gas prices will go up , Obama will loose !

    It will be us and the Israel's in a very new cold cold war.

    September 12, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Mitt Romney is either tone deaf or just plain stupid. I'll let America make the call.

    September 12, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. FedUp

    Well, you have to remember that certain religions don't deal with Israelis.

    September 12, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Enough is Enough

    Mitt what you should be saying is that the U.S. needs to stop kissing Israel's ass and that one of the biggest reasons that peace talks go no where is Israel's expansion of illegal settlements and the building of new illegal settlements on stolen land. Netanyahu's policy of what's mine is mine whats yours is negotiable will never work. Mitt stop pandering to Netanyahu the war criminal.

    September 12, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. ozonator

    I will agree with Romney if Netanyahu shows us 5 years of tax returns or Netanyahu tells us which US programs to cut to pay for Israel's tail wagging the US dog.

    September 12, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Tom

    Romney: "Obama needs more backbone"
    Romney: 'Can't imagine saying no' to Netanyahu meeting

    Romney is a duplicitous tool.

    September 12, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Rahmbo

    This iRomneybot XVII Model will pander at the drop of a hat. This 1%er has so many masters I don't know how he keeps track of them all.

    September 12, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. cali girl

    Gotta keep up appearances.

    September 12, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. NameJo

    Romney and Netanyahu are friends dating from way back when Netanyahu was a consultant at a Boston firm years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if (desparate) Romney didn't purposely ask him to get involved in the U.S. elections in this way. Netanyahu's own military people told him that getting involved in Iran at this stage was terribly unwise. Betanyahy, like Romney, is a bully (birds of a feather) who wants the U.S. to do his dirty.work. This is truly despicable of Netanyahu to insert himself in the U.S. elections and only shows that Romney must be getting desparate.

    September 12, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Romney said at a campaign event that as president, he "can't imagine ever saying no" to a meeting with the Israeli leader.
    ---------------------------------
    It's also not hard to imagine Netanyahu saying 'no' to a meeting with Pres. Obama.

    September 12, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. annie s

    Here's a clue, Mitt. While America supports and is quite good to israel, we're not ready to let their chief warmonger set policy or conditions for our country. Shame on you for not getting that.

    September 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. myviewis

    I think that the fact that the Democrats had already taken steps to remove Jerusalem from the Democratic platform and they had to take a vote 3 times to reinstate Jerusalem because they regretted how bad it looked, others say Obama wanted it reinstated, is a sign that the Obama administration is not so keen on Israel and neither is the Democratic Party.

    September 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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