Romney Heads to Israel: But Did Obama Beat Him to the Cut?
Jul 28, 2012 03:44 PM EDT
The London trip did not go as well as planned for Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican nominee for the 2012 presidential elections received a lot of derision for his Olympics comments, now in hopes for a better trip Romney is on his way to Jerusalem.
In an attempt to woo Jewish voters, Romney wants to show the Jewish constituents that he intends to build on the U.S.-Israel relations, which has been slightly tensed during the Obama administration.
"The Romney campaign has noted repeatedly that Obama has not visited Israel as president, and a series of photo-ops and meetings with top leaders there on Sunday will offer the Republican candidate a chance to demonstrate a personal connection to the country," according to Scott Conroy of the Political Hotsheet.
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Romney will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then with the nation's top cabinet members.
Israel has always been a focal point in a president's foreign policy when it comes to voters. The U.S. obviously has a large Jewish demograph and therefore a president's policy on a US-Israel alliance has great significance to constituents back home.
President Obama realizes this, and knowing that his opponent Romney would have the advantage of the Israeli trip, Obama too tried to show voters Friday, day before Romney left to Israel, that he was committed to the U.S.-Israel alliance by signing a military bill that ensures $70 million to Israel Iron Dome missile system. The bill was signed in a publicized White House ceremony in the President's Oval Office.
"What this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakable commitment to Israel security," said President Obama according to yahoo News.
And although the bill was passed in congress last week, it is not the bill that has got people talking but its timing, as both candidates gear up for the upcoming presidential elections in November, each trying to sway constituents on their side. While Romney is working his way to Israel, Obama is trying to garner support from Jewish constituents right at home. On Sunday, the president will hold discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act was sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer and Howard Berman. The two sponsors along with Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Richard Stone, AIPAC Board Chairman Lee Rosenberg and Howard Friedman, past chair of the AIPAC board attended the presidential signing of the bill in the Oval Office. The bill confirms an additional $70 million to a short-range missile defense system. U.S Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will also be making a trip to Israel on Monday.