Responding to the Obama re-elect campaign’s call for Mitt Romney to release all of his tax returns dating back to the 1980s, Romney’s campaign said Obama should release details of “all” the conversations he has with world leaders. Mitt Romney has been trying (and failing) to make an issue of the president’s recent comments to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, caught on an open mic, that he’d be more “flexible” on various issues after the election. “Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over,” Romney’s spokesperson said.
The Romney camp’s request led Dr. Colin Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, to wonder, “Does Governor Romney think we should release all the notes and transcripts of the President’s conversations with our allies such as the Israelis and Europeans, tipping our hand to Tehran about every last element of our strategy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?”
Apparently, the answer is no. Today on his radio show, Mike Huckabee asked the former Massachusetts governor how the U.S. relationship with Israel would be different if he were to be elected president. Romney of course re-hashed all his stale (and baseless) talking points that Obama is “throwing Israel under the bus,” and said he would keep his disagreements with Israel private:
HUCKABEE: Describe conversations that you might have had that you can talk about as to the difference your administration, if elected president, would have with Israel than we currently have with President Obama? [...]
ROMNEY: I think this president has disrupted that relationship with Israel by one, criticizing Israel at the United Nations in his inaugural address. Two, throwing Israel under the bus with regards to demanding that we return to the 67 borders and then there’s the personal disrespect that was shown for Benjamin Netanyahu.
The best course for America is to stand very united with our allies to show that there’s not a dime’s worth of distance between us, at least in public. And if we have some private disagreements, why, we keep them in private. But we should show the world that we are united and I think the president’s failure to do that with Israel has emboldened the Palestinians.
Listen to the clip:
Romney’s baseless bashing of Obama’s record on Israel is nothing new. CNN once called his claim that Obama criticized Israel at the U.N. “misleading,” and of course, Obama never said Israel should “return to the 67 borders.” Indeed, Obama has simply reiterated long-standing U.S. policy that there should be a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is based roughly on the pre-1967 borders and mutually agreed land swaps.
But to answer Huckabee’s question, how would the U.S. relationship with Israel be different under a President Romney? The New York Times this weekend quoted Martin Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, saying that Romney’s past statements have implied that he would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.”