WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney believes there likely will be no Mideast peace and blamed the Palestinians, according to comments he made in a video posted on the Mother Jones website and on YouTube.
In the video that had the Romney campaign scrambling Monday night, the former Massachusetts governor said at a private fundraiser that the Palestinians don’t want to establish a peace process with Israel.
“[T]he Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish,” Romney said in the Mother Jones video.
Romney explained that if the Palestinians had their own state, that Iran would shuttle weapons through the West Bank.
“And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza,” Romney said. “Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel.”
Romney called Obama’s foreign policy a “naïve perception.”
“The president’s foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in part by a perception he has that his magnetism, and his charm, and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like Putin and Chávez and Ahmadinejad, and that they’ll find that we’re such wonderful people that they’ll go on with us, and they’ll stop doing bad things. And it’s an extraordinarily naive perception.”
Romney added that he hopes for “some degree of stability” in the Mideast, but doesn’t see how that is possible.
“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, and I say, ‘There’s just no way.’”
Romney has consistently hammered President Obama’s tumultuous relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that the White House is not doing enough to protect its ally from Iran.
Speaking to NBC News on Sunday, Netanyahu, who has been critical of Obama, said the president needs to establish a “red line” with Iran in regards to a U.S. military strike to thwart the country’s nuclear ambitions.