Romney Heads to England, Israel, Poland: Meeting Cameron, Kenny, Netanyahu, Walesa & More

Governor Mitt Romney is going overseas…

On Tuesday, after delivering a speech in Reno, Nevada to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their annual conference, Romney will embark on a six-day, full schedule, listening tour to England, Israel, and Poland:

The presumptive Republican nominee and former Massachusetts governor will meet with the leaders of all three countries, other government officials, opposition leaders, and at least one U.S. ambassador. He plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics, visit sites of historical significance, and hold public events in at least two of the countries.

Aides say Romney does not view the trip as an opportunity to roll out any new policy proposals. “This trip is an opportunity for the governor to listen and learn, to visit countries that share common values, common interests, and I should say in many cases shared heritage with people here in the United States,” Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, told reporters in a conference call previewing the trip.

… While Romney is likely to highlight differences in his approach to international relations relative to Obama, he is expected to refrain from attacking Obama while traveling abroad.

A preview of The Gov’s itinerary…

England

The Olympic rings are lit up on Tower Bridge in preparation for the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. The Opening Ceremony takes place Friday, July 27, 2012.

Thursday, July 26, 2021:

Governor Romney will meet with British leaders including, Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Friday, July 27, 2021:

Romney will meet with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Later, he’ll meet with U.S. Olympic athletes and attend the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies. USA! USA! USA! (We know the strong passion The Gov has for the Olympics - the spirit of competition - and for the capacity of the games to inspire unity, mutual understanding, and respect across the world. Romney is known for his turnaround of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.) Also, if schedules can be coordinated, he may try to meet with other world leaders who are in London for the Olympics.

Israel

The gleam from the Dome of the Rock reflects the afternoon sun in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the Israeli leaders meeting with Mitt Romney will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sunday, July 29, 2012:

Romney has been to Israel three times in the past, on a family visit in the late 1990s and, in 2007 and 2011, on fact-finding trips focused on security and economic issues.

On this trip, he’ll meet first with Daniel Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who will give him a briefing. Romney will also meet with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and will also sit down with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He has met them all on previous trips.

While aides say Romney will not specifically criticize the president’s Middle East policy while he is in Israel, he will continue to make the case for standing with Israel - as he often does on the campaign trail. “America needs to stand by its allies, particularly allies that are under siege like Israel, particularly democratic allies who have such a shared history and shared values with America” Dan Senor, a special adviser on foreign policy, told reporters in previewing Romney’s message.

In an op-ed written yesterday, former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (GOP) shares the following:

By sheer coincidence, Romney is an old and personal friend of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Romney’s first job after finishing up at Harvard was at the Boston Consulting Group, and Netanyahu was working there at the time and sat in an office down the hall. The two struck up a friendship and have remained close. If Romney were to become president, it would be an extraordinary chapter in U.S.-Israeli relations.

“There is little precedent,” The New York Times wrote recently, “for two politicians of their stature to have such a history together that predates their entry into government.”

Certainly Israel could use a close friend in the White House these days.

Over the last three years, however, the U.S.-Israeli relationship has been troubled.

President Obama does not seem to have personal affection for the Jewish state. He has publicly castigated Israel, including at the United Nations. He was caught on a hot microphone denigrating Israel’s prime minister, and when Netanyahu came to Washington he received him with marked coolness, neglecting to hold the customary joint news conference before asking the Israeli leader to exit through a rear door.

Romney will also deliver remarks while in Israel.

Poland

The skyline over Gdansk, Poland turns a rosy hue at dusk. Governor Romney will meet with Poland’s former President Lech Walesa in the port city.

Monday, July 30, 2021:

Romney’s final destination is Poland, where he will meet with the current leadership, including President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Romney will also meet with Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. Walesa, who was president from 1990 to 1995 and oversaw Poland’s transition out of communism, was the one who invited Romney to visit his country.

Ian Brzezinski, another Romney adviser, said the visit to Poland will highlight an important alliance that is “rich in history” — from Polish support for the American revolution all the way through Iraq and Afghanistan, where the country has sent troops to assist in the U.S.-led war efforts. Romney will also point to country’s economic success, which he will say stems from free market principles and capitalism - the themes he pushes on the campaign trail at home.

“This is a country that stands in sharp contrast economically to the rest of Europe where economies are dropping by about 5% or more,” Brzezinski told reporters.

Romney will also deliver remarks and visit historical sights in Poland. The ‘Lech Walesa Institute’ said in a statement that Governor Romney is visiting Poland by special invitation, issued to him at the beginning of the month, by President Walesa:

Poland and Poles are paying close attention to the election campaign in the United States, focused on choosing a leader for the American nation for the next four years,” Walesa wrote in the invitation dated July 4.

Their choice will influence the fate of America and the world.

Walesa refused to meet with Obama last year, saying “It doesn’t suit me.”

Romney’s invitation from freedom-fighter Walesa is, indeed, a high honor.

This will be a memorable week for Mitt and Ann as they find themselves in the international spotlight. It’s another opportunity for world leaders and the good people in England, Israel, and Poland to see that the USA has an opportunity, through Mitt Romney, to elect a strong, seasoned statesman who will once again respect our allies, strengthen our partnerships, and instill renewed confidence in the mighty cause of freedom.

To Mitt and Ann, Godspeed!

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

The Flimsy Pretense: Obama’s Foreign Policy OK, But….

President Obama’s general foreign policy record has not been too much of a success. He’s been gutsy in some areas and naive and stupid or even dangerous in some others, especially in the long term.

Even to those eager to defend the President’s policies and the President’s overall conduct in handling American foreign affairs - it’s a difficult task. Justifying his record remains shady to a degree that they are left with no choice but to break up analysis into regional, specific areas, in a way that dismantles the overall understanding or argument that President Obama has a strong, commanding lead on foreign policy issues.

The best example is David Brooks opinion in the NY Times, in which he starts off praising President Obama’s overall conduct in implementing a new, flexible foreign policy approach. Nonetheless, he points out the significant failures that may have an impact on US national security, the stability of the Middle East region and the future of democracy in the Arab World.

In the op-ed titled - “Where Obama shines” - Brooks starts of by praising the new approach Obama brought to the table. “It should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment.

Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox,” he writes.

All well, until the details are reviewed.

Here’s where even Brooks comes to the conclusion of “OK, but…”.

No one knows what will happen if Israel or the U.S. strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. Confronted with that shroud of ignorance, Obama has properly pushed back the moment of decision-making for as long as possible, just in case anything positive turns up. This has meant performing a delicate dance — pressing Israelis to push back their timetable while, at the same time, embracing their goals….”

“There have been failures on Obama’s watch, of course. Some of these flow from executive hubris. Obama believed that he could help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He proceeded clumsily, pushed everybody into a corner and now peace is farther away than ever.

“Some failures flow from excessive politicization. An inexcusable blunder by Obama was to announce the withdrawal date from Afghanistan at the same time he announced the surge into Afghanistan. That may have kept the Democratic base happy, but it sent thousands of soldiers and Marines on a mission that was doomed to fail…

As a consequence of Obama’s foxy foreign policy approach, the possibility of a Mideast regional war in the summer, and Iran capable of threatening Israel with nuclear weapons is no longer theoretical, rather demonstrable.

Events and tragedies speak for themselves. No spin or argument will cover up for the rise of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and in Libya, the horrific situation in Syria, the resurgence of Hezbollah, and the Iranian proxies reaching the moment of obtaining chemical weapons and dirty bombs.

It’s time to wake up.

It’s Mitt Romney’s time. [tweetable]

Follow me on Twitter @jacobkornbluh

Romney to Travel to Israel, Germany, Great Britain, Poland

Politico announced yesterday “a major foreign policy offensive” in their article titled, Exclusive: Romney weighs foreign-policy tour by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin.

The article stresses that Governor Romney is still planning exactly which stops to make and may include five or more nations (until I read this, I had not realized that President Obama has never visited Israel as President!). Tentatively, these include Great Britain, Israel, Germany, Poland, and possibly Afghanistan. Plans are expected to be finalized this next week and Romney will kick off the tour with a “news-making” speech at the VFW convention in Reno. Following are excerpts from the Politico article.

Great Britain

The presumptive GOP nominee then is slated to travel to London for the start of the Olympics and to give a speech in Great Britain on U.S. foreign policy.
[...]
The trip to London provides Romney with the chance to both reinforce America’s “special relationship” with the United Kingdom and to remind voters of his leadership role in rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Israel (Middle East)

Readers that are new to MRC may have missed two prior posts by Jacob Kornbluh about Israel. His post of April 27th references the 36-year friendship between Governor Romney and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and just four days ago he wrote about Romney’s plans to visit Israel this summer. The Politico article continues,

Romney next would fly to Israel for a series of meetings and appearances with key Israeli and Palestinian officials.
[...]
Still, he [Bill Kristol] said Romney could make more of his trip to the Mideast with other stops beyond Israel.

“I think it would be nice if he went to Afghanistan,” Kristol said. “I think it would be nice if he visited the troops defending the country. I think it would be nice if he went in a very apolitical way.”
[...]
Then there will be an unspoken if obvious contrast when the Republican visits Israel, a country that Obama has yet to go to as president and the first place abroad Romney has said he’ll travel to if he wins in November.

In Israel, Romney will, as was first reported by The New York Times, meet with people across the ideological spectrum. He’ll sit down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also the Labor opposition, Obama’s envoy to Tel Aviv, Ambassador Dan Shapiro, and the head of the Palestinian Authority. These sit-downs will help Romney push back against the idea that he’s merely in the Jewish state to curry favor with an influential political constituency. But even Republicans are candid about what the Israel trip could mean for the campaign.

“There are a lot of donors and potentially a few voters in places like Florida for which it sticks in people’s craw that Obama hasn’t been there yet,” said one informal foreign policy adviser to Romney’s campaign. It is also a place that resonates with the party’s evangelical base.

Germany

Romney officials are hoping to arrange a meeting between the candidate and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. While Merkel and Obama have been in frequent contact recently over the European debt crisis, she generally favors a policy of austerity that varies from Obama’s support for government stimulus spending.

Poland

Romney’s trek to Poland may not offer the same political dividends but will be as symbolically weighted given recent events and the Republican’s tough talk about Russia.

While Bush famously praised the Polish contribution — “You forgot Poland” — to the Iraq War, the relationship between Obama and Warsaw has not been as warm.

The Poles were angry when Obama in 2009, on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, announced plans to back out of a missile shield agreement and have been more generally uneasy about the administration’s “reset” policy toward Moscow.

More recently, Obama infuriated Poles when he misspoke in a White House ceremony and referred to “Polish death camps” when referring to Nazi concentration camps. Then there was the president’s hot mic moment with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year where Obama said he’d “have more flexibility” to deal with missile defense in a second term.

“There’s this sense that America is looking elsewhere, and then there are these horrendous misstatements,” said Andrew Michta, senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund and director of the think tank’s office in Warsaw, on the view among Polish elites toward the U.S. administration. “There’s a general perception that the United States is putting distance between itself and Europe. In central Europe, you feel this.”

Michta also noted that Obama has yet to speak at a public event in the country — a contrast with both Bush and former President Bill Clinton.

Romney has taken a hard-line stance toward Moscow, saying after Obama’s overheard conversation with Medvedev that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” The remark was seized on by Democrats and criticized by some Republicans as an overreach. Still, other Republicans argue there is enough merit to the claim that Russia needs to be viewed with suspicion that Romney shouldn’t abandon the argument altogether.

I was excited to hear about this “foreign-policy” trip Governor Romney is planning. There are so many advantages to such a trip aside from the obvious. Most important to me is the opportunity Governor Romney will have to meet with world leaders, one on one to discuss international issues with an eye to the future.

This reminds me of the naive statements Mr. Obama made in 2007 and 2008 when he scolded President Bush for not solving the Iranian crisis by extending the hand of friendship to Iran and through diplomatic negotiation — how is that working out Mr. President? Americans are embarrassed by Mr. Obama’s passive and apologetic foreign policy. President Romney will not take a passive approach to foreign policy.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Mitt Romney’s Summer Trip to the Jewish Homeland and the Jewish Vote

Romney to visit Isreal this Summer.

Mitt Romney has promised to visit Israel in first foreign visit after inaugurated as the 45th President of the united States. Yet, it looks like Romney has decided to follow the advice of various Jewish groups, that have called on the Republican nominee to visit Israel during the election season, which would be first and foremost a significant bi-partisan boost to the US-Israel relationship, and politically would help Romney with the Jewish vote in the battleground states.

As reported first by the New York Times, and confirmed by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s senior advisor, Romney is expected to visit Israel this summer following trip to the Olympic games in London, and meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

“Mr. Romney, who has pledged to “do the opposite” of the Obama administration on matters pertaining to Israel, is also expected to meet with Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority; President Shimon Peres of Israel; the American ambassador, Daniel B. Shapiro; and leaders of the opposition Labor Party in Jerusalem. He plans to have at least one public event in a trip that will likely last less than two days.

“He’s a strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him,” said Ron Dermer, Mr. Netanyahu’s senior adviser, who worked with Republicans in the United States before immigrating here. “We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we’re sure it will only deepen that.”

For Mr. Romney, the trip is an opportunity to appeal both to Jewish voters and donors, whose overwhelming support of President Obama has softened, according to some polls, and to evangelical Christians, whose trust he is still fighting to win. At the March conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby known as Aipac, Mr. Romney vowed that Israel would be the destination of his first foreign trip as president, underscoring the fact that Mr. Obama has not visited here since his election, a sore spot among some Israel supporters.

While the visit could distract from the Republicans’ main line of attack against Mr. Obama, the economy, it is an opportunity for Mr. Romney, who as a former governor has little foreign policy experience, to play the statesman.

Mr. Dermer said the men would probably meet over a meal at the prime minister’s residence, though details have not yet been decided.

“The prime minister meets Democratic and Republican officials alike,” he said. “I’m sure they want to broadcast a very strong relationship with Israel, and Israel wants to broadcast a very strong bipartisan relationship with both sides of the aisle.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) applauded Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to visit Israel this summer and meet with Israeli leaders, in a press release this afternoon.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “Having hosted Gov. Romney on a previous visit to Israel in 2007, the RJC knows firsthand how strong his commitment is to the Jewish homeland and we are thrilled that he will reinforce that commitment at this important time.”

While the visit will illustrate the stark diffrerences between Gov. Romney and President Obama, in terms of the relationship with Israel, and by large, the U.S. foreign policy approach, it will certainly drive registerd voters, currently residing in Israel to cast their absentee ballots in support of Romney, especially if it is a close race.

Having done that will definetly boost Romney foreign policy credentials. Nonetheless, the right investment, and the nessecary attention has to be shifted and directed at the Jewish community in New York.
Click here to continue reading.

Romney: “Obama’s ‘Reset’ Policy Toward Russia Has Clearly Failed”

Kremlin in Moscow, Russia


From Mitt Romney Press:

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on President Obama’s failed Russia policy:

“President Obama’s ‘reset’ policy toward Russia has clearly failed. Russia has openly armed and protected a murderous regime in Syria, frustrated international sanctions on Iran, and opposed American efforts on a range of issues. This is an unfortunate failure of President Obama’s foreign policy.”


Obama met Putin in 2009.




March 25, 2022 - Caught on mic unbeknownst to President Obama at a press conference with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in Seoul:

Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.”

Medvedev: (then out-going Russian President): “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …”

Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”


May 18-19, 2012: Vladimir Putin did not attend the G-8 Summit hosted by Obama at Camp David.

Dmitri Medvedev & Vladimir Putin



Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Romney and the Jewish Vote #1

If you didn’t know yet how out of touch the president is, his Friday “[private sector] doing fine” comment just said it all. Now, compare this with his charm offensive paragraph, he continuously uses when he address various Jewish groups. “If during this political season you hear some question of my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts,” Obama said in his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in March, “There should not be a shred of doubt right now: When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”

Backed up by facts? Well, Liz Cheney summed it up best when it comes to the President’s record, to his Middle East policies and relationship with Israel. “There is no president who has done more to delegitimize and undermine the State of Israel than President Obama,” Cheney said, to huge applause from the 13,000 attendees at the Washington Convention Center.

Five months before election day, President Obama leads a new poll of swing states, from Purple Strategies, by 2 points over Mitt Romney overall. But Romney has taken a lead in crucial Florida and Ohio - in Ohio by 3 percentage points and in Florida by 4.

The poll confirms what has long been expected — a tight contest in which the redrawn political map will be a major factor. “This marks the first time since January that the candidates were within 2 points of each other in these critical purple states,” the pollsters wrote. “Despite still trailing, Mitt Romney has reached his highest vote total since our tracking began in September of 2011.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll had Romney leading the president in Florida by a 47-41 margin. In addition the latest Rasmussen poll of Likely Ohio Voters shows Romney with 46% support to Obama’s 44%.

Much of that can be attributed to the Jewish vote, both in Ohio and Florida, in which the Jewish vote makes up 5-8 percent of the electorate on Election Day.

Consistent with other poll data, President Obama now leads Mitt Romney among registered Jewish voters 64% to 29%, according to the latest Gallup poll. That’s a 14 point decline in support for the President since 2008, and a 7 point increase in support for the Republican candidate, since John McCain’s 22 percent on Election Day.

While Obama, now at 46%, is down among all registered voters by 5%, among Jewish voters he is down 10 points since Gallup’s last poll in 2008. According to Gallup, 83% of Jewish registered voters say they definitely will vote, which put’s Obama at around 60% of the vote, compared to Romney’s 30%. This is currently the highest portion of Jewish votes for a Republican candidate since Reagan in 1984.

In a press release following the Gallup poll results, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “This poll is another sign of the erosion of support for Obama among Jewish voters. If the President wins just 64% of the Jewish vote, it would be a disaster for him and his party. Jewish voters are increasingly disillusioned with the President and that’s why Mitt Romney is making real inroads in the Jewish community this year.”

Jewish support for Democratic presidential candidates has exceeded 64% since 1988; Michael Dukakis took just 64% of the Jewish vote when he was soundly defeated by George H.W. Bush, the RJC notes. In 1992, Bill Clinton won 80% of the Jewish vote. In 1996, he was re-elected with 78% of the Jewish vote. Al Gore won 79% of the vote in 2000 and John Kerry took 76% in 2004. President Obama won 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008.

Another poll published last week by pollster Steven Cohen for The Workman’s Circle, shows President Obama with only 59 percent of the Jewish vote, compared with 27 percent for Romney. If the undecided vote were to split down the middle, the margin would be 68-32 percent, a far cry from Obama’s 78 percent Jewish backing in 2008.

Support for Romney by 32 percent the Jewish community could be a clincher, according to Tevi Troy, one of Romney’s senior campaign advisors on Jewish and Israel issues.

“If a Republican candidate gets in the 30s, they’re almost certain to win an election. If they get under the 20s, they’re almost certain to lose,” he was quoted as saying by the European Jewish Press.

“There’s this 28 percent spread, which I like to think about in terms of its Hebrew gematria (numerology), which is koach, meaning strength,” he continued. “This 28 percent shows the disproportionate strength of the Jewish vote given its relative numbers.”

While expressing confidence in Mitt Romney’s ability to make significant inroads among Jewish voters, Matt Brooks pointed out in a conversation with me last month, that in 2000, George W. Bush got only 19 percent of the Jewish Vote and narrowly carried Florida. And by the time of his re-election, with an overall 24% of the Jewish vote, the state of Florida wasn’t even close. However, he added, that “the more votes we take from the Democrat’s core base, the more it will impact the overall competitiveness of this race,” Brooks said.

If the final results indeed turn out to be closer to the 59 percent figure, Obama would receive the lowest percentage of the Jewish vote in a presidential election of any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Jonathan Tobin notes in the Commentary Magazine.

“The pollsters insist, not without some reasons, that Israel does not appear to be a determining factor in the presidential vote. It bears repeating that the vast majority of Jews are not single issue voters on Israel and, like most Americans, will cast their votes based on other issues–principally, the economy.”

“If as the poll shows, the decline in Obama’s share of the Jewish vote is greater than the losses he is encountering in other sectors in national polls,” he continues. “Analysts need to ponder what it is about the president that is repelling a higher proportion of Jewish supporters to abandon his ship than elsewhere.”

“Because, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, this otherwise heavily liberal population is still steadfast in its support for Israel as well as sympathetic to its current government, it is not unreasonable to suppose that those sentiments have led them to be, at the very least, a bit less favorable to a president who spent his first three years in office picking fights with Israel. Like the rest of the country, more Jews are disillusioned with the president’s handling of the economy, but is that enough to explain a potential loss of almost a quarter of the votes he received four years ago?”.

Obama is certain he knows what’s good for Israel. Given his record and the Iranian threat, it’s an impossible sell, Michael Goodwin writes in an opinion editorial for Fox news, Portraying President Obama as “Israel’s worst frenemy.”

(more…)

Two Fmr Secty’s of State, Condoleeza Rice & George Shultz, Endorse Romney

At a fundraiser in California last night, Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, and George Shultz, former Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, officially backed Governor Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House:

A few comments from Rice:

“It’s a delight to see so many friends…I’ve now been out of Washington for over three years…how much fun it is when you know you could be in Washington, but you’re here. My life has changed a lot. Now, I get up in the morning and I read the newspaper and I say…isn’t that interesting? “Because I’m no longer responsible for what’s in it.”

“We care about the future of this country, and the future of our world,’’ she said, and I’m “delighted to join so many friends here in supporting, and in my case, endorsing, Gov. Mitt Romney for President of the United States.”

“Today, more than ever, we need U.S. leadership to affirm that the future belongs to free markets and free peoples.”

“To regain that leadership, we’ve got to first and foremost defend the country,’’ she said. After 911, the country was safe because “it was not because the terrorists weren’t trying, it was because of the vigilance…because men and women volunteer to defend us at the front lines of freedom, and we owe them our eternal gratitude.”

More Rice: “We have to defend the country, not just from strength and power, but from a sense of values of who we are,’’ she said. “Friends, who just want to know, that when the chips are down, we are going to be there for them….and that indeed we know the difference between friend and foe.”

More Rice: “The President of the United States has to understand that the American people have a view…and that our leadership can not be (reduced to) “the lowest common denominator postions.”

“The only thing the American people dislike more” than weak leadership, she said, “is no leadership at all.”

“America’s leadership “is craved in the world, and Gov. Romney, you can bring it back,’’ she said to applause. . . .

A few comments from Shultz:

George Shultz and President Ronald Reagan

George Shultz, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, also endorsed the presumptive nominee at the fundraiser. In his speech, he defended Romney’s record as an executive at Bain Capital LLC, a Boston-based private equity firm.

“What he has done at Bain Capital has been a major contribution to the American economy,” said Shultz, who also served in the cabinet of Richard Nixon with Romney’s father, George.

Venture capital firms “help make our economy more competitive; they learn how to keep costs under control; they are the kind of people who help figure out where to put investments,” Shultz said.

“He has learned and instinctively can feel what it takes to get this huge amount of money that is sitting on the sidelines of our economy to move forward and invest,” he said.

These two endorsements - from two of America’s most powerful and respected arbiters of foreign policy - are very significant pluses for Governor Romney.

Slaughter in Syria: Romney “Work with partners, arm Syrian opposition groups”

Massacre in Haoula, Syria, May 25, 2012: Men were killed on the streets while women and children were shot and stabbed in their homes. (Photo AFP/Getty Images)


While Americans are busy with Memorial Day activities, shock and horror at the news of massacre in Haoula, Syria is resounding on news reports today.

On mid-day Friday, May 26, 2012, Syrian soldiers and pro-government forces burst upon the rebel-controlled village and began slaughtering residents. Video and photos show rows of dead and mutilated small children among the victims. 116 were killed and 100 were wounded.

The UN Security Council today held an emergency meeting in New York to discuss the attack.

Calling the Syrian regime’s latest slaughter “horrific”, Governor Mitt Romney released the following statement:

“The Assad regime’s massacre of civilians in Haoula—many of them young children—is horrific. After nearly a year and a half of slaughter, it is far past time for the United States to begin to lead and put an end to the Assad regime. President Obama can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps. The Annan ‘peace’ plan—which President Obama still supports—has merely granted the Assad regime more time to execute its military onslaught. The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. The bloodshed in Haoula makes clear that our goal must be a new Syrian government, one that contributes to peace and stability in the Middle East and that truly represents the brave Syrian people.”

(emphasis added)

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~ Addendum from Ross:

Looks like Mitt was right about Iran when he stood up for freedom while President Obama stood silent, and Gov. Romney has again voiced his support for freedom while our President allows tyranny to go unchecked now in Syria.

If you want to add the Freedom for Syria PicBadge to your Facebook, click here or here for Twitter.

Mr. President, It’s About the Economy and National Security, And We Ain’t Stupid!

Governor Romney may have lost him as a spokesman, but Richard Grennell has not lost his message.

Despite being forced to step down shortly after being appointed by Romney as his foreign policy spokesman, Ric Grennell harbors no bad feelings. He believes that Romney knew he was gay and was picked because he “consistently challenged the Obama administration’s failure to lead the world and confront the most important international issues we face.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Grennell writes that this election is not about Gay issues, but about economic and national security. He believes that the guy best suited on these issues to replace President Obama is Mitt Romney:

“Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama’s personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records. Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates’ policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn’t deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does.

Voters need to be reminded of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy performance: his secret whispers to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for more flexibility on missile defense; his snubbing of Israel and other allies while extending a hand to those who want to degrade the U.S.; his inability to lead at the United Nations. The president’s record proves he is too politically contrived and dangerously weak to deserve a second term.

One needs to look no further than the brutal regimes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Eun to see that under Mr. Obama the U.S. has turned its back on too many that seek a better way of life. Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than ever before and yet the president campaigns on the erroneous assumption that we are safer now. Allies like Turkey, India and Brazil openly ignore the U.S. while the president looks to make more concessions to Russia that gut our missile-defense capabilities. We’ve responded to our enemies and ignored our friends.

While there are many reasons not to vote to re-elect President Obama, gay marriage is not one of those issues. National and economic security absolutely are.”

In fact, some Republicans suggest the Global events dominating the month of May have given Mitt Romney a potential opening to make a cohesive foreign policy case — to attempt the difficult task of closing the stature gap with an incumbent president whose national security milestones have branded him, in the minds of Republicans, as tenuous on foreign policy.

Remember Obama’s questioning of Romney’s foreign policy and national security credentials? This was an area in which Obama hoped to distract voters from the economic situation and make them feel secure under his Commander-in-Chief umbrella while boosting the decision he made in ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden. He hoped to raise question marks regarding Romney’s competence on the national security front.

According to a new Rasmussen poll published on may 15th, when it comes to national security, Romney has edged ahead in that category. 44% of participants trust Romney more when it comes to national security, while 42% have confidence in the president in this area. Obama held a 45% to 42% lead in this area last month and a 45% to 41% edge in March. Romney leads by 20 points or more in every category among voters who have served in the U.S. military. Those who have not served give Obama the edge in trust when it comes to national security. Those who currently have an immediate family member in the military trust Romney more than Obama by a 48% to 41% margin when it comes to national security.

Additionally, In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, only 51% of Americans approve the job President Obama is doing handling foreign policy, 45% disapprove. 37% believe Obama’s approach has made America’s standing in the world worse.

*Note: Mr. Grenell was Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001-09. He served briefly as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and national security spokesman.

Poll Shows a Replay of 1980 – American Jewish Electorate Divided on Presidential Election

As the general election has just kicked off, with the economy getting the main focus and attention, and Obama taking some hits on his record, it is also important to see how American voters view President Obama’s conduct and his handling of issues that matter to most Americans.

Let’s look particularly at a demographic that may play an important party in determining who becomes the next President of the U.S. in November 2012 - the Jewish American electorate. Since this race is going to come down to a battle over swing states, those that historically and demographically choose the President, the Jewish population in Florida, Ohio, Philadelphia and Cleveland could be the demographic giving Mitt Romney the edge over the President.

A new poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks for the AJC, shows the mixed political mind of the American Jewish community as the nation heads into general election season. It reveals Romney making significant inroads in the Jewish community, getting the support of 28 percent, 6 months before election day. In comparison, President George W. Bush, considered one of Israel’s greatest friends, got only 24 percent of the Jewish vote in his reelection bid in 2004. Senator McCain, also known as a strong supporter of Israel during his years in the Senate, got only 22 percent.

The poll also shows President Obama getting only 61 percent of the Jewish vote, a decline of 17 points down from the 78 percent he got in 2008. 11 percent are undecided, but when asked whom they are leaning towards, 5% picked Romney and 6% picked the president. Even before the Veep pick, the national convention, and the campaign effort which is expected to be aggressive and carefully area targeted in the months ahead, that gives Mitt Romney roughly 33% of the Jewish vote.

Based on this poll data, one could confidentially assume Mitt Romney getting around 39% of the Jewish vote in November. It matches President Reagan’s 1980-1984 support.

The analysis is based on poll data, which could be spinned and twisted brilliantly by both campaigns, but also gives us a glimpse of how the electorate is somewhat similar to 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged President Jimmy Carter. When asked for the most important issues in deciding their vote, 80 percent of American Jews cited the economy, 57 percent health care, 26 percent national security and 22 percent U.S.-Israel relations. But among those who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama. Forty-four percent of those who cite national security and 45 percent of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations would vote for Romney.

Regardless of how the respondents intend to vote, 60 percent think the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decision in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. 37 percent choose the Republican Party. The same is with national security issues and the economy in which 36% trust the Republicans compared to 60-62 that trust the Democrats.

Nonetheless, if this election is a combination of the economy and national security issues, based on the assumption these factors will be key in determining the support each candidate might get – the President’s record, his name recognition, his incumbency advantage and Mitt Romney’s aggressive campaigning mode, one could definitely expect Mitt Romney to pick up high support among Jewish voters. Consequently, that would create an opening and opportunity for the Republican party to open it doors, run competitive Jewish candidates, make Jews feel comfortable in the GOP party, and most of all, be just enough to tilt some highly contested Battleground states in Mitt Romney’s column.