Romney: Why I'd be better for Israel than Obama
December 7th, 2011
08:36 AM ET
8 years ago

Romney: Why I'd be better for Israel than Obama

Washington (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reaffirmed his commitment to Israel as America's partner in the Middle East while accusing President Barack Obama of hindering peace in the region, during his speech Wednesday before the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The former Massachusetts governor took the president to task for criticizing Israel, not saying enough about the thousands of Hamas rockets fired into the country and his support for Israel to adopt "indefensible borders."

"These actions have emboldened Palestinian hard-liners who now are posed to form a unity government with terrorist Hamas and feel they can bypass Israel at the bargaining table," Romney said at the forum in Washington, D.C. "President Obama has immeasurably set back the prospect of peace in the Middle East."

Romney said that as president he will warn other countries in the region that aggressive action against Israel will be "futile and that continuing it will cost them dearly."

Romney, who is making his second bid for the White House, is one of six potential GOP nominees to speak at the event Wednesday.

He also bashed Obama's support of an "entitlement society," where he said earnings are redistributed and disproportionately enjoyed by the government.

"President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. He has embraced an entitlement society. He has put America on a path toward decline," Romney said. "At stake is the prosperity we've worked so hard to achieve, and the future of great allies, like Israel."

Despite what Romney sees as Obama's failed first term in office, Romney said the 2012 election will be tough.

"Many think that because of his staggering failures, President Obama will be easily defeated," Romney said. "But an incumbent is rarely turned out of the White House, and class warfare and demagoguery can be powerful explanations in uncertain times."

The president's reelection team responded to Romney's speech, accusing Romney of "stacking the decks" against the middle class by adopting the same policies supported by Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Sarah Palin.

"Instead of believing that Americans are greater together, he believes the middle class and those fighting to enter it are on their own," Ben LaBolt, press secretary for Obama for America, said in a statement. "Mitt Romney has made abundantly clear that he's willing to outsource American jobs to enrich himself and his partners regardless of the consequences for middle class families."

Rival GOP presidential contenders Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are also scheduled to speak to the group Wednesday. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was not invited to the event because of his views on Israel that the organization said are "extreme."

Also see:

Gingrich: I helped Romney get rich

Romney vows to speak up on Gingrich record

Santorum: Gingrich has 'false compassion'

Romney latest candidate to say no to Trump

Filed under: 2012 • Israel • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    What does this Mormon care about Israel? Puh-lease. His pandering is so obvious.

    December 7, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  2. Namejkane

    All loser canadates that aren't electable , and can't be trusted!!

    December 7, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Ted van Tol

    What? The Republicans looking for peace in the Midle East? They only brougt war in that region!
    In his second term Obama will do everyting to bring peace between the Palestines and Israel as it should!

    December 7, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. quinLee

    The shape-shifter may be on to something here. He is very good at telling both sides what they want to hear.

    December 7, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  5. Robert

    Then you should move there. They'd appreciate your flip-flopping.

    December 7, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. John

    Bishop Romney, how could you possibly be "better"? You believe Native American Indians are, in fact, Israelites!!!

    December 7, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. John

    Who do you think is more offended by Bishop Romney; the Israelites or the Native American Indians?

    December 7, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. Susan

    I have followed the Romney campaign faithfully from 2007 on and have a clear understanding of the issues at hand. Romney is genuine and his leadership is exactly what this nation needs to heal. Romney's strength is the economy and he will make major steps to improve our financial troubes. But he will also help the nation heal. We don't talk enough about that part of our nation's character.

    December 7, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    He's begging votes from Jewish voters as if he were a panhandler on a street corner. Once again, he's saying anything that he believes is what people want to hear. Truth? What's that? Romney is suggesting that all attacks from militants in Palestinian occupied ares just suddenly began when Pres. Obama was sworn in. ( I suppose that it just isn't possible that some of the attacks could be related in any way to all of the homes and business that have been bulldozed over the past decade to make way for more controversial Jewish settlements. )

    Romney is also trying to appeal to the "he's a muslim" market of the conservative base.

    December 7, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Romney is expected to say that as president he will warn other countries in the region that aggressive action against Israel will be "futile and that continuing it will cost them dearly."
    Does anyone know of other countries in the region that are "taking aggressive action against Israel," or what can cite one example of what these actions are? The only "other country" that I can think of might be Turkey trying to send ships "loaded with humanitarian supplies" into Palestinian areas.

    December 7, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. GOP TeaParty Clown Car Myth the Flip Flopper vs. Newt the "Family Values" serial Adulterer

    How is Myth Romney going to be better for Israel?

    Start another war with Iran?
    Encourage Israel to occupy more jewish lands?
    Kiss Israel's butt and annex it as part of the United States?

    Get real guys!...these GOP politicians just want to look out for Israel & start another war with Iran & wars all over the world without caring a hoot on how to take of us American's first!

    The only class warfare and demagoguery I hear daily is coming from these GOP clowns who wanna be presidents! Not a single idea or thought on how to fix anything, but they just demagogue President Obama while promising to hand out more "tax cut" welfare checks to the rich and Wall Street FAT CATs, and shipping JOBS to CHINA at the same time!!!

    December 7, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. anson canty

    If mitt romney is elected then this country is doomed for sure

    December 7, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  13. AEK

    Well, this really goes without saying considering the longstanding relationship between the State of Israel and the Mormon Church... Oh, and by the way Mitt, good luck distracting the right wing Christians in your own party! I think they may be on to you, buddy!

    December 7, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    May I ask when these "thousands of rockets" were launched by Hamas? If memory serves me correctly a lot of them were launched between the years 2001 and 2008 when someone else was President. Also, for every rocket launched by Hamas, how come no one comments on the overkill response by Israel? Why have none of these Republican candidates commented on the devastation that used to be known as the Gaza Strip, or the dispossessed Arabs in the Occupied West Bank moved to make room for Israeli Settlements? Is every Republican so afraid of AIPAC that they do not dare speak out against the ethnic cleansing and apartheid that Israel is practicing in the Occupied Territories?

    December 7, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. mctampa

    God forbid we should ever criticize the omnipotent Israel, there are many of us who think we give way to much leeway to a country that is not cooperating with our attempts at peace, however we all know Romney will say and do anything to get a vote. What a coreless man.

    December 7, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. Jim

    Last I checked, you aren't running for President of Israel, Mitt. Israel is a sovereign state, and as such, needs it's own leadership to know that they have an issue on their hands, that they must negotiate with countries like Egypt and Syria to maintain peace. No one wants the Israeli nation to be wiped out, but there has to be give and take. And as for you, you need to get a clue as to what it means to be President. You don't have any idea.

    December 7, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. w l jones

    If our country would not excepted entilment in 1619th and everybody work and support himself we wont have this problem today. Enough said.

    December 7, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |

    "But an incumbent is rarely turned out of the White House, and class warfare and demagoguery can be powerful explanations in uncertain times."
    The only class warfare that's being waged is the rich versus the middle class and the poor. That war has been going on for as long as I've been alive Willard. As far as Israel goes, who cares? I'm not Israeli! Let them defend themselves.

    December 7, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. RINO Bil

    That's really stupid Mitt Are you running for office in Israel? What's Israel's position on Mormonism? How many Mormon Temples are there in Israel?

    I am concerned about who would be best for the United States of America and my vote will reflect that.

    December 7, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. Donkey Party

    When you have a far right-wing administration like Netanyahu's, it's a wonder Israel even talks to President Obama. What stupid Willard also fails to realize, is that our blind support of Israel is the main reason why the rest of the Middle East hates the US. All Romney would be doing with his saber-rattling is causing the deaths of more US citizens and soldiers abroad. Dealing with Netanyahu is like trying to deal with the most extreme GOP-baggers here in the states. I'm tired of a petulant Israel (Netanyahu) thumbing their nose at the President, just like our own domestic right-wingers do.

    December 7, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Hey $250m man, how about the us economy?

    December 7, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. Larry L

    Why he'd be better for ISRAEL? How long will our Republican Party be held hostage by Israel? Evangelicals have created enthusiasm in their ranks of zeolots about the end of the world, etc. but the bottom-line is about campaign money. I'm pretty certain the Mormons aren't planning for a big battle in Jeruselum with the Anti-Christ. Old Mitt is working it.

    If Israel would stop expanding settlements they'd have a chance at peace. The rocket fire is certainly reason to defend yourself – even with overwhelming response tactics. But how do the Palestinians defend themselves against a US-sponsored, modern army with weapons up to and including nukes? Do they have any way to stop the cancerous growth of settlements across what was Palestine before international agreements (not including Palestinians) granted the land to the Jews? They are our allies but when have they gone too far for too long?

    December 7, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. FactCheck

    Tune in next week when Romney explains why he'd be better for Palestine than Obama.

    December 7, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But an incumbent is rarely turned out of the White House, and class warfare and demagoguery can be powerful explanations in uncertain times."

    Class warfare Mitt, or hundreds of millions of "real" Americans taking their country back from the disaster that was coined as the "Republican mandate" election of 2010? Mitt loves to tout his business experience. It'd be nice if he would talk a bit about which specific Obama policy he thinks created the economic collapse that began in late 2007. You know ... the recession that caused the dumping of hundreds of thousands jobs monthly all though summer and late fall of 2008. Just to give us a perspective on what exactly Obama did to cause the mess and how Mitt will "do things differently" to insure history doesn't repeat itself. Mitt can then lead the conversation into what he thinks Obama did to cause the collapse of the world economy back in 2007/2008 as well ... being he, Mitt, is so knowledgeable about world economy's and all.

    December 7, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  25. dreamer96

    Mitt Romney would stop the investigations into the three or four large banks in Israel the are hiding money for U.S. companies who do not want to pay U.S. Federal Taxes....Obama Administration is not getting any help from the Israeli government on this...even though some might be criminal groups laundering money through Israeli banks.....

    December 7, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
1 2 3