O’s big Mittzvah / Steals GOP-visit thunder with Israel pact (NEW YORK POST) By S.A. MILLER WASHINGTON 07/28/12)
NEW YORK POST
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WASHINGTON — President Obama yesterday upstaged Mitt Romney’s visit
to Israel by signing a bill that bolsters US military ties with the
Jockeying for Jewish votes in the United States, Obama signed the
bill at a formal White House ceremony on the eve of his Republican
challenger’s visit to Israel. Obama also announced the United States
would soon send $70 million to Israel for its “Iron Dome” missile
It was the latest wrinkle in Romney’s tour abroad, which got off to a
rocky start with the Republican’s Olympic gaffes in London.
Romney has bashed Obama — who visited Israel as a candidate in 2008
but who has not returned as president — for ignoring the historic
close ties between the US and Israel.
The strained relationship between Obama and Israel was expected to
provide the backdrop for Romney’s meeting today with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But Obama instead pledged his “unshakable commitment” to Israel’s
security as he signed the bill that Congress passed a week ago.
“I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen
cooperation with Israel across a whole spectrum of security issues,”
The Romney campaign applauded the enhanced security for Israel but
noted that the measure “does nothing” about Obama’s reluctance to
recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The status of Jerusalem
is a point of contention.
Obama has angered Israel and Jewish voters at home by pushing for a
Middle East peace deal centered on Israel’s 1967 prewar borders,
before it captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign seized upon new data showing weak
economic growth as the latest evidence that Obama’s domestic policies
Economic estimates showed the US gross domestic product (the value of
all goods and services produced in the country) slowed to an annual
rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012. That fueled fears
of a stalling economy, as Americans tightened their belts and reined
“It’s a picture of a decelerating economy,” Romney economic adviser
Dean Glenn Hubbard said. “At that pattern, the economy simply will
never return to full employment.”
The White House budget office delivered more bad news for Obama,
reporting this year’s deficit will be less than previous estimates
but that economic growth remained anemic.
The Republican National Committee responded with a blast e-mail with
the subject line: “The Big Fail: Mid-Summer Downer.” It slammed Obama
for breaking his promise to cut the deficit in half. (Copyright 2011
NYP Holdings, Inc. 07/28/12)
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