Following a series of well-publicized gaffes in London, Mitt Romney’s campaign may be trying to restrict press access to the former Massachusetts governor as he travels to Israel, violating a pre-negotiated agreement.
Romney, who is flying with a group of reporters on his international trip, had agreed in April to allow limited media coverage of all finance events held in public spaces. But on Saturday, the campaign suddenly reneged on that deal and announced that a fundraiser with big-money American donors — including controversial casino magnet Sheldon Adelson — in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel would be “closed press“:
But Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.
Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”
“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.
Politico notes that Romney “allowed press into his London fundraiser Thursday night.”
“Reversing itself in the face of complaints, Mitt Romney’s campaign said on Sunday it will permit the news media to cover a Jerusalem fundraiser that caps the presumed Republican presidential nominee’s trip to Israel,” the National Journal reports.