Romney Plans to Visit Israel
Barack Obama hasn't visited Israel as President, but Republican contender Mitt Romney is making it a point to visit this summer.
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is planning a trip to Israel this summer, an aide to the likely GOP nominee said Monday.
Details about exactly when and where Romney will visit were not immediately available, and the aide spoke on the condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans. But Romney was expected to meet during the trip with top Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The summer jaunt will take Romney away from the campaign trail during a key period of his general-election fight against President Barack Obama. But the trip could help Romney shore up support among Jewish voters, evangelicals and foreign policy hawks. It’s also an opportunity for Romney, whose credentials in foreign affairs are limited, to bolster his image as a competent leader capable of navigating in one of the thorniest regions of the globe.
Romney, who has vowed that his first trip as president would be to Israel, relentlessly hammered Obama during the GOP presidential primary on his stance on Israel, accusing the incumbent president of throwing the Jewish state “under the bus” for stating that negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should be based on Israel’s 1967 borders.
“I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite,” Romney said in June when asked about Israel.
Romney’s relationship with the U.S.-educated Netanyahu dates back decades. Romney and the Israeli leader have a longstanding friendship stemming from their brief overlap in the 1970s at Boston Consulting Group. Both men worked as advisers for the firm early in their careers, before Romney co-founded his own private-equity firm.