Hidden Camera Video: Romney on Iran, Israel-Palestine

A hidden camera that caught Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraising dinner has grabbed a lot of media attention today. Network news is focusing primarily on a single portion of the candid-camera speech in which Romney derides “47 percent” of the population who doesn’t pay income taxes and therefore will automatically vote for Obama. This should be really effective at grabbing that 5 percent of swing voters, Ol’ Mitt. Truthfully, this is one of the most poorly run campaigns I’ve seen in a long time.

But there are other parts of the video not being talked about as much. Via David Corn at Mother Jones, Romney also talks – off the script! – about Iran, Israel-Palestine, and broader foreign policy issues. They are shocking in their ignorance.

On Iran, Mother Jones reports, “He repeated the tough talk he has issued on the campaign trail, but he also provided an odd reason for drawing a red line with Tehran about its nuclear program”:

I’ve heard a lot of outlandish reasons to consider Iran a threat, but sending Hezbollah to Chicago with a dirty bomb is almost record-breaking in its absurdity. First of all, Romney uttered these words in the context of giving Iran a “red line” in its nuclear enrichment past which it could not avoid US military action, but, as David Corn writes, he “didn’t appear to understand that a dirty bomb—an explosive device that spreads radioactive substances—does not require fissile material from a nuclear weapons program. Such a bomb can be produced with, say, radioactive medical waste. If Iran’s nuclear program poses a threat, it is not because this project will yield a dirty bomb.”

Furthermore, this ridiculous scenario recklessly overestimates the capabilities of Hezbollah and the stupidity of Iran. In the context of their nuclear program, Iran is interested in deterring military threats from the US and Israel – not in committing national suicide by provoking a nuclear war for which they are pathetically outmatched.

On Israel-Palestine, Romney said he was convinced of two things (1) the Palestinians don’t want peace, only the destruction of Israel, and (2) the conflict is unsolvable, and so he would make no effort as president to solve it.

Again, we see a dramatic lack of basic understanding about the issue here. Here’s Ali Gharib’s response to this:

These objections are not obstacles to peace, as Romney suggests, but rather functions of a two-state solution—except for Syria and Jordan bordering the West Bank, which are functions of reality. No sovereign country would cede control of its air space. As for Israel’s thin waist, Martin van Creveld, who has more strategic chops than Romney in his little finger, convincingly argues that “strategic depth,” as permanent occupation is known to Israeli rightists, is a canard: “Israel can easily afford to give up the West Bank” with “negligible” risk. Keeping the territories is what poses the risk—permanently subjugating millions of Palestinians and denying them citizenship political rights is untenable—and it’s a fate Romney seems contentedly resigned to.

Indeed, much of Israel’s insistence to keep up the occupation of the West Bank lies in the kind of dogmatic, uncompromising ideology Romney assigns to the Palestinians. The true Israeli objection to settlement is that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “committed to the retention of most if not all of the West Bank,” Harry Siegman, President of the U.S./Middle East Project, has written, “as are most other members of his government, most of whom belong to the ‘Whole Land of Israel Caucus’ in Israel’s Knesset.”

Indeed, the Prime Minister’s Likud Party Charter declares Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza “the realization of Zionist values” and that the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem belong to Israel (“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river”). I don’t believe there’s anything in there about Iran infiltrating the West Bank to launch attacks on Israel.

The concerns that informed voters have repeatedly expressed about Romney, that he hasn’t much clue about foreign policy, are reaffirmed by the release of these videos.

Update: Mother Jones has now posted the entirety of Romney’s hidden camera speech. See it here. One notable quote from a portion on foreign policy: “For me, everything is about strength, and communicating to people what is and is not acceptable.” Can you envision a more authoritarian articulation of grand strategy?

60 thoughts on “Hidden Camera Video: Romney on Iran, Israel-Palestine”

  1. Thanks for the excellent analysis & summary of the hidden video. I would wager that Romney has said even daffier things in other private meetings with donors…

    1. It might be time to consider the idea that Romney was tapped by the GOP Leadership to take down Paul and keep their guy Obama in power, so they could keep all their lucrative tax payer subsidized war profits going a little while longer. Wall Street wins and Americas Troops are slaughtered. As a Gulf War Veteran I hate to say it, but I've seen this one before.

      1. It almost seems like the Republicans know they will lose.By picking Romney and Ryan they hope to at least hold onto the tea party type until 2016.

      2. Obama as President just about assures the Reps will take the Senate and keep the House. And they are terrible on civil liberties.

        I mean does anyone seriously imagine anything good coming out of Obamas second term or the economy miraculously recovering? Of course not. Obama is there to keep the MIC and the plutocracy going and take the fall for it all in the end (of course such fall will come with a golden parachute).

      3. Perhaps the GOP plan was to remove Romney and Ryan from the political gene pool for future Presidential campaigns. Being beaten by the hated Obama would surely do that. I like it!!!

    2. But what he said is his own "reflections" on the world and politics,he was filmed by a hidden camera.This is a "leader"from the kind US could produce,this is what American ideology,,American world view (weltanshauung) .It is too simple to explain that Romney "thoughts" are for nickels .

  2. you guys are clearly ignorant on the issue at hand. Romney has opinions on the matter that are contemporary and on point for the current situation at hand. Ignorance will be the downfall of this nation.

    1. It would appear to me that ignorance is presently well in hand. Romney's remarks prove that he has not only learned any history from the distant past but the last 11 years as well. I attribute most of his ignorance from listening to people like Dan Senor and the other neocons who are advising him. Why anyone would listen to people who have been proven so tragically wrong is beyond me.

      1. With his ineptitude I might have said that Romney best resembled Forest Gump. But at this juncture comparing him to Gump would be a compliment.

    2. Nice satire..I believe that most neocon(artists) take the Onion as fact, and are offended by it! Romney is not only a danger to America, but to the entire world. He is not only unfit for office, he is a borderline psychopath..plus the Mormon religion is most telling in its dogma!

      1. It is interesting to note that in the Book of Mormon, Jesus Commands the Mormons to gather in the 12 Tribes of Israel, and bless them and publish peace. So When Mitt Romney want s to commit genocide against the Pashtuns and Shia he is threatening the 12 Tribes of Israel with death. This is a very poor representation of Mormonism, Christianity or Judaism for that matter.

  3. It's like he just stepped out of a comic book. Somebody should redact the Superman comics, replacing "Lex Luthor" with "Mitt Romney".

    1. Lex Luthor is actually a very intelligent man.

      THIS guy is just a bag of ill-arranged so-called "conservative" talking points in Armani. I can't imagine a comic book hero from a tier that low. Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  4. Just bc someone (many people in this situation) has a difference of opinion from yourself does not make them ignorant or uninformed.

  5. Can't feel too badly for the Repubs. They "had" a quality candidate and tossed him out in favor of the Mittmeister. Wait, 'tossed' might be too kind of a descriptive.
    So the dummys shackled themselves to Romney and so it goes. Isn't like folks didn't try to tell them. "Them" of course being the Repub National Committee.
    I'm voting Ron Paul. Writing in the good Doctor because I'm still allowed. For now anyway. Oh yes and, Ms. Angela? Romney would sh*t on his mother's chest because the bishop told him to. Mormons are a very strange bunch. I can say that having been born and raised on the Mormon Homeworld of Utah.

    1. I am a Mormon and will vote for Gary Johnson because he is the only one that will put Paul in the White House, and publish peace. You don't have to write in anything just vote Gary Johnson!

      1. Hi NathanNV:Hi neighbor. I hadn't thought about Gary Johnson. I won't vote for Romney and I won't vote for His Presidential Worship and I'm still solidly in the Ron Paul camp. Either way, whomever wins will not have my consent to govern and that will be my choice. I think that a vote for Ron Paul makes a statement. However, I might have to rethink that position after I research Gary Johnson.

    2. Hi Ms, Angela:Herr Mitt is mostly persona non grata back on the momo homeworld. I know from first hand experience. You see, Herr Mitt is not 'native born Utahn' and ergo, not a “natural” Mormon. True true. For the Mormons, if one isn't born on the homeworld, well, that Mormon isn't up to snuff. I got a kick out of your initial remark. You made me laugh. peace and respect,skulz

  6. He is not elected yet, but already "vomits" Neozionist agenda to the World.
    Ahead of posible victory he spels to US people: " I will continue with wars of aggression"!!!! peter czech

    1. Damn straight.

      Romney's an Israel-Firster. He'll probably insist that NuttyYahoo be made Co-President of the United States.

  7. Romney will loose. i hope american people and officials struggling to make order over the world and build see that everythign in teh universe loves them more than electing another George Bush visionary. im quit offended by his opinions on both sides of the coin. he needs a rude awakening. i know theres a reason Obama is becomign more my "main man". may the stains of time produce a leader like Obama to restore common sense. one can see the committee of assholes trying to get in the way in his own government, never mind this from the other side., the world deserves peace and times of building. america deserves a peace of mind in unsafe times. Boo Romney.

    1. Oh boy, Obama is HORRIBLE. The only thing this shows is the Reps may have picked an even worse candidate to run against him. And whether Romney would actually govern worse considering how bad Obama has been is anyone's guess. He has a lot of neocon advisors which is troubling. But it's not actually KNOWABLE who would be worse on foreign policy. Reps despite their war rhetoric are sometimes less warlike than Dems. I don't like gambling though so I'll vote my conscience: 3rd party.

      I wonder does anyone still believe we have real democracy when we keep getting complete joke candidates (I mean McCain was bad but the joke there was Palin, the joke here just might be Romney himself).

  8. Pass the caviar, would you please? Oh, who's that speaking into a microphone? What did he say? Never mind, there's a crumb on my lip.

  9. "I don't have a map" but here are several untrue geographic statements about the West Bank, including its border with Syria and its proximity to Tel Aviv

  10. Mother Jones, I forgot they existed. Bravo to them for doing journalism!

    Romney not only says crazy things in public. He says them in private too.

  11. Unfortunately, with this election it is the blind (or one who pretends to be blind so that he can be led to the "promised land" by those irredentists who covet it, vs. the deaf and dumb being led by the same irredentists). Result: no Middle East Peace, absorption of the Occupied Territories into Israel, one-state "non-solution" and eventual demographic disaster, unless, as Bibi wishes, there is a second mass deportation and ethnic cleansing, which of course he'd call a voluntary vacation.

    1. Perhaps if the Repugs used their brains (a leap of faith there…) and chose someone actually qualified to hold the office and wasn't already senile and on the verge of dementia…but if they continue to choose "the next one in line" then the Dems will continue to send in the clowns – they can't lose.

  12. It wasn't easy finding something that would make Barry Soetoro alias Barak Hussein Obama look good for their bullshit election, but they managed, didn't they?

  13. Obama is a Marxist extreme left winged socialist bent on radically changing America into a socialist country, who has increased the debt by 9 trillion, has destroyed the work requirement from welfare and increased the welfare roles by dramatic numbers , he whispered to Russian pres, that he will be more flexible after he wins the election, he passes executive orders like a true dictator discounting the will of the people, his wimpy Foreign policies has the entire east erupting into violence and all you can do is dig up something Romney said privately 6 months ago is headline news. shame on you liberal press agents that are Obamas pimps!! you are complicit in the destruction of our freedoms in this country!

    1. Nobody here cares about your Republicrat (or is that Demopublican) talking point screeds. Go call an AM radio station if you want to spout off.

  14. Okay, as a presidential candidate he wasn't supposed to say that but as the president he is supposed to think it and act accordingly as Obama himself has done the last 4 years. If our presidents and other elected officials didn't think this way we would have achieved peace between Israel and Palestinians by now. Romney revealed not only how he thinks but how they all really think in the back rooms of power.

  15. Whether Romney hard or Obama soft words, what is certain for Palestinians is that dreaming of independent state is a mirage even in dream. It is a matter of strength – Israel and US.Those Arab leaders remain to be beggars for the Palestinian and subservient to the stumbling block of their yearning. Until they reason or unite with Iran they hate to sanction and force US to resolve the issue once and for all through what they have and compete in arm race with Israel, their effort on the State of Palestine is doom to fail.

  16. It's been common practice to pile on Romney and Obama but when you realize that these guys are just puppets you almost start to feel sorry for them.

  17. On Iran, Mother Jones reports, “He repeated the tough talk he has issued on the campaign trail, but he also provided an odd reason for drawing a red line with Tehran about its nuclear program”:

  18. Romney is insane and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the oval office. What they should do is tell him he won the election and then escort him to his rubber room where he can be the dictator of all his hallucinations.

  19. Many thanks favorable towards the good data. Evidently nondiscriminatory wen upwards! We repeatedly perform not really expanding upon those however stew over a person do the animatedly buddy-buddy despoile as well as I’m indisputable many people suavity the actual much less anyhow.

  20. Romney has to say what pleases his major financial backer Sheldon Adelman. For $100,000,000 he's not supposed to make sense.

  21. A Candidate of this caliber after the George W.Bush debcle becoming Pres. is what's unthikable

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