According to an ad just put out by the Romney campaign, only Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter qualify among the last six presidents over the past 35 years as leaders who "recognize the cherished relationship the U.S. has with Israel and stands with our allies."
How can that be? Why do only these two Democrats make the grade? Because Romney's standard is a first term presidential visit to Israel, and that's something Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama (so far) never did. Reagan didn't go in his second term, either, and Bush 43 only went late in his second term.
Here are the exact words of the Romney ad:
"In almost four years as president, Barack Obama hasn't visited Israel. We need a leader who recognizes the cherished relationship the U.S. has with Israel and stands with our allies."
Only Carter and Clinton visited Israel during their "first four years as president," something Romney has said he would do and castigates Obama for following the example of Reagan and the Bushes.
The 30-second ad also criticizes Obama for “refusing to recognize” that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
All three Republican presidents – like all other Republican and Democratic presidents – also did not officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, which means moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. Any number of presidents have said they'd like to be able to do that, but the fact is none ever did it, and none will, as noted in this space earlier, until the Israelis and Palestinians make peace and agree on the location and borders of their capitals.
Until then Romney the Righteous can accuse and fulminate all he wants, but it's all bubbe meiseh.
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