The leaked footage of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser include some statements that are at odds with the Republican candidate's stated views on Israel and Palestine. While the Republican candidate has publicly expressed support for a negotiated two-state solution, in private, he has been recorded suggesting that America should "kick the ball down the field."
"And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues," said Romney in leaked footage of a private fundraiser, "and I say, 'There's just no way."
"All right," he went on, "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."
That's not what Romney has said in public. In his campaign white paper "An American Century," Romney writes, "the key to negotiating a lasting peace is an Israel that knows it will be secure." But Romney's remarks show that he doesn't believe a U.S.-negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinian is possible at all. Similarly, the paper states that "as president, Romney will reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians." In the video, he makes clear that he think the Palestinians have no interest in making peace, and so negotiations are useless.
“I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state," Romney told Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "I respect Israel’s right to remain a Jewish state. The question is not whether the people of the region believe that there should be a Palestinian state."
On Tuesday's The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz said, "Now that's not what he told his donors. Are we to believe this, or this just lip service?" MSNBC contributor Richard Wolffe added, "it doesn't help Israel to have American leaders disengage," despite what Romney said on the tape.