Does Romney plan to visit Jerusalem soon? (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 05/25/12)
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WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee, is planning to visit Israel in the coming weeks, according
to Israeli Republican political consultant Jonny Daniels.
Daniels’s assertion came amidst days of speculation that Romney would
be traveling to the Jewish state during his campaign, as candidates
did during the 2008 race.
The Romney campaign has thrown cold water on the notion that the
candidate would be visiting, and campaign sources said Thursday that
the former Massachusetts governor has no plans to come.
Daniels, who is the senior adviser to deputy speaker to the Knesset
Danny Danon, has helped facilitate the visit of prominent Republicans
including Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain and Glenn Beck. He said that the
trip is expected for the latter half of June.
“It’s definitely being planned,” said Daniels, who added that he has
been in touch with members of the campaign, the Republican party and
the Prime Minister’s Office about the logistics of the trip.
One government official, however, was skeptical that Romney would be
visiting Israel in the midst of a campaign when he had just been in
Israel last year. Campaign officials have also pointed to his recent
visit as the speculation about a repeat touchdown has swirled over
the last two weeks.
Daniels said the details of what would likely be a multi-day trip are
still being arranged, and there was always the potential for a
scheduling snafu, but that the campaign has made clear that Romney
wants to come.
“The message that it’s really going to send is that we have a
friend,” said Daniels, who noted that Romney’s competitor, US
President Barack Obama, has not visited Israel while in office. Both
Obama and his 2008 Republican opponent John McCain made quick visits
to Israel during their campaigns. “He’s willing to take time out of
his schedule and stand with us,” he said.
A Washington Jewish political insider said the main purpose of a
Romney visit to Israel would be “to appeal to American and the
evangelical community.” He said the trip would allow Romney to try to
push against Obama’s record on Israel, after having already accused
the president of having thrown Israel “under the bus.” (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 05/25/12)
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