Mitt Romney’s campaign faced new problems on Tuesday morning as further details of his comments to a $50,000-a-plate dinner were released by a liberal magazine.
The campaign was already in damage-control mode after the magazine, Mother Jones
, released a video showing Romney saying his job is “not to worry about” the 47 percent of the population who, he said, “believe that they are victims, who believe that the government has the responsibility to care for them.”
Early Tuesday Mother Jones released a second portion of the video in which Romney discussed the Middle East, saying he did not believe peace was possible, and that the United States should “kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”
Romney told the guests at the Boca Raton, Fla., home of private equity manager Marc Leder that Palestinians “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.”
He said if an independent nation of Palestine were to be established, Iran would attempt to get arms in to threaten Israel. “So Israel, of course, would have to say, ‘That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.’ ”
He said Tel Aviv — which he referred to as “the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel and said was only seven miles from the West Bank border — would be at particular risk.
In the May 17 private speech Romney said the only acceptable solution for Israel would be to guard the Palestinian airport and the new nation’s borders with Syria and Jordan.
“Well the Palestinians would say, ‘No way! We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.’
“These are problems, these are very hard to solve,” Romney added, likening the situation to the one that exists between China and Taiwan.
“We have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try to resolve it imminently.”
Romney claimed he received a call from a former secretary of state, but would not say which one. However he referred to the person as “he” which would rule out both Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright, two of the most recent three holders of that office.
He said the secretary had told him there was a prospect for peace after the Palestinian elections. “I said, ‘Really?’ and you know, his answer was, ‘Yes, I think there’s some prospect.’ And I didn’t delve into it.”
The tape released by Mother Jones ends at that point, leaving it unclear as to whether Romney said anything else on that issue.
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