In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition of Florida this morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney compared individuals who consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict central to the challenges in the Middle East to appeasers of Hitler in the 1930s.
In his remarks, Romney dismissed those who counsel diplomacy in the region — specifically the Baker-Hamilton Commission — as naively thinking “everything would be fine in the Middle East” if “we could just settle things between the Palestinians and the Israelis”:
“The consequences of that accommodation of his [Hitler’s] press releases was devastating to the entire world, and most devastating to millions of Jews,” Romney said to about 200 people at a Republican Jewish Coalition of Florida function. “Today we have individuals who believe that the cause of the challenges in the Middle East is the conflict in Israel with the Palestinians, and that if somehow we could just have the Baker-Hamilton Commission imposed and we could just settle things between the Palestinians and the Israelis, why everything would be fine in the Middle East.”
Comparisons to Hitler appeasers do “not resonate with the American people.”
In 2006, after then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared Iraq war critics to those who believed Hitler “could be appeased,” a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 61 percent of Americans said it was “not appropriate” for the White House to compare the Iraq war to the fight against the Nazis.
Romney isn’t the first presidential candidate to make such a comparison during this election cycle. At the GOP/YouTube Debate in November, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) call to bring “our troops home” as the “kind of attitude of isolationism and appeasement” that “allowed Hitler to come to power.”