Former Representative Mel Levine (D-CA) wrote in The Times of Israel that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record of flip-flopping was on full display during his trip to Israel this week. Levine wrote:
Romney’s team billed his recent trip overseas as an opportunity for the candidate to ‘listen and learn,’ with promises to adhere to the well-established tradition that ‘politics end at the water’s edge.’
So much for tradition.
Romney almost immediately blasted President Obama in Israel Hayom….
How absurd. But Romney didn’t stop there.
While Romney promised that he would be ‘careful’ not to discuss US policies during his trip abroad, he ignored decades of US policy, during Republican and Democratic administrations, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem:
My understanding is the policy of our nation has been a desire to move our embassy ultimately to the capital [Jerusalem]...I would only want to do so.
That sounds like policy talk to me. It also does not sound like the Romney who, according to JTA, ‘privately told Jewish leaders he would not commit to moving the embassy as president’ just a few months ago.
Is Romney’s policy and rhetoric really that dependent on what soil is under his feet at a given moment? And what happened to the water’s edge?
Remember in March when Romney said that Russia is ‘without question our number one geopolitical foe?’ Well, it seems that once again he has flip-flopped. In an interview on Thursday with Haaretz, Romney declared, ‘A nuclear Iran represents the greatest threat to the world.’ The more Romney explains his Iran policy, the less clear he becomes.
In a briefing before Romney’s speech in Jerusalem, a top foreign policy adviser to the campaign, Dan Senor, noted, ‘If Israel has to take action on its own, the Governor would respect that decision.’ After those who had heard this comment began to wonder if this meant that a president Romney would mean war with Iran, Romney scrambled to clarify the comment, telling ABC, ‘I think I’ll use my own terms in that regard and that is that I recognize the right of Israel to defend itself.’
To be clear, I support President Obama’s commitment to ‘prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons’ and his declaration that ‘Israel must be able to defend itself by itself against any threat.’ But Romney’s seems to be still formulating his position - a scary thought.
Furthermore, while in Israel, suspending his impassioned denunciation of President Obama’s signature health care reform - inspired, in part, by what Romney did in Massachusetts - Romney’s pandering to Israelis led to his embrace of Israel’s system of socialized medicine….
The flip-flops from this short trip are dizzying. With its blatant attempt to pander to Jewish voters, Romney’s time to Israel has demonstrated what we already knew to be true: Romney will say whatever he has to in order to appear pro-Israel - or whatever else is convenient and popular at a given moment.
Click here to read the full op-ed.