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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Netanyahu Agrees With Romney's Stance On Iran, Says They Have Close Personal Friendship

By Susan Duclos

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning in Jerusalem and by all accounts Romney received a warm reception as Netanyahu spoke of "their close personal friendship" at a press conference held before the meeting.

A couple of headline declarations were made, one of which where Netanyahu made it clear that sanctions against Iran — largely pushed by President Barack Obama — have failed to stop that country's nuclear program.

Speaking with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney at his side, Netanyahu said a "strong and credible military threat" was needed on top of the sanctions to get Iran to make a change.

“I think it’s important to do everything in our power to prevent the Ayatollahs from possessing that capability," Netanyahu said. "We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. And that's why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation."

Romney's campaign outlined a nearly identical position earlier in the day, criticizing those who call the talk of military action irresponsible as making peace less likely.

In an article by Haaretz it is reported that Netanyahu agrees wholeheartedly with Mitt Romney's stance on Iran.

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was warmly received Sunday morning by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who emphasized the need for a credible military threat against Iran.   

"You said the greatest danger facing the world is of the ayatollah regime possessing a nuclear capability," Netanyahu told Romney. "Mitt, I couldn't agree with you more." 

"All the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. We need a strong and credible military threat coupled with sanctions" in order to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Netanyahu. 

At a short press conference before their meeting, Netanyahu mentioned their close personal friendship, stating that it was a pleasure to receive the former Massachusetts governor in Israel.

With the November elections nearing, the Jewish American vote, which has traditional favored Democrats by large margin, is a voting demographic that Republicans are targeting for support.

Some prominent, outspoken Jewish Americans are also speaking up on what is described as "buyer's remorse" for their 2008 support of Obama and recently the Republican Jewish Coalition has kicked of a $6.5 million ad campaign to highlight those former Obama supporters. One of which is Michael Goldstein, lifetime Democrat and former Obama supporter, in the first of the RJC's ads who states that he has never voted for a Republican, but this time he plans to vote for a Republican. (Video ad can be seen here)

Via Washington Post's The Fact Checker:

“I was a big Obama supporter. I had a fundraiser in my home, gave money to his campaign. I really believed in him and believed in what he stood for. When he gave the speech about the ‘67 borders, it was nothing that had come up in his campaign originally. That really changed my mind about him. When he had the prime minister of Israel, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, to the White House…he was disrespectful to him to the point that I’d never seen.”
— Disillusioned Obama voter Michael Goldstein, in an ad by the Republican Jewish Coalition

Other recent headlines also include a press conference where White House press secretary refused to name the capital of Israel, five different times. (Video and transcript here and here)

[Update] The Right Scoop has Romney's 17 minute speech from Jerusalem and he, unlike Obama and his administration, states "unequivocally that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel." [End Update]

July 27, 2012, Gallup reported that Americans have a more positive view of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than negative and in mid-June, The Hill reported that support for Obama among Jewish voters was still significantly higher than support for Romney but that Obama's support has dropped by double digits among Jewish voters from 2008.

A drop in Jewish support for Obama and a gain for Romney in key Jewish areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, can make a large difference in how those states tally up in the November 2012 presidential election.

Politically speaking, the visit between Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu could not have gone any better.