Romney's Ties to Israel in Question

As Romney takes his presidential campaign outside of America, he may not be so welcome.

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Romney at the Olympics Opening Ceremony (Pascal le Segretain/Getty Images)

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is pushing his campaign beyond America's borders with appearances in England and boasts that he's very familiar with key international political players like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Vanity Fair reports that Romney referred to the Israeli head as an "old friend." Netanyahu, however, doesn't see their relationship in quite the same way, but according to Mother Jones, that's not the point.

What's interesting here isn't that Romney appears to have exaggerated his relationship with Netanyahu. That's a political misdemeanor. What's interesting is that Netanyahu seems to be thoroughly uninterested in backing up Romney even a little bit. Mitt Romney? Yeah, I guess I'd recognize him if we passed on the street. He's the one with the good hair, right?

At the same time, he insists that his relationship with Obama is better than we think. This is probably just normal politics -- why diss the American president in public, after all? -- but it's still an interesting juxtaposition. The interview took place in March, when Romney hadn't quite locked up the Republican nomination, but even then he was the pretty obvious frontrunner. And Netanyahu is too savvy a politician to say this kind of thing by accident, even given the famous Israeli reputation for bluntness. So why throw him under the bus like that? Is it because Netanyahu has decided Romney has no chance of winning, so there's no point in sucking up to him? Or what?

Read more at Mother Jones.

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