Mother Jones has released a second segment of the hidden camera video showing Mitt Romney candidly addressing a private fundraiser in May, and it raises even more questions about the Republican nominee’s much derided foreign policy.
In the video, Romney answers a donor who asked how the “Palestinian problem” can be solved. “I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard,” Romney says. “One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”
“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” that a two-state solution could work, Romney elaborates.
He later hedged on that dire prediction, noting that “On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections. I said, ‘Really?’ And, you know, his answer was, ‘Yes, I think there’s some prospect.'”
How could that settlement be reached? Romney doesn’t know — as he told the donors, “I didn’t delve into it.”
Although the new segment of the video isn’t as explosive as the first, it provides another disturbing window into Romney’s outlook on foreign policy. Although Romney has publicly supported a two-state solution in the past, this video makes it abundantly clear that he does not have any peace plan more detailed than merely following Israel’s lead.
Indeed, at one point Romney tells the donors that “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world,” and that the best plan would be to “kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.” That from a man who routinely criticizes President Obama for “leading from behind.”
Additionally, Romney’s conclusion that peace in the Middle East is essentially impossible certainly contradicts his adviser Richard Williamson’s assertion that there wouldn’t even be protests in the region if Romney were president.
If the rest of the video obtained by Mother Jones turns out to be as destructive for Romney as the first two parts were, then Bloomberg‘s Josh Barro may be proven correct: this video could be the tipping point that costs Romney the election.
UPDATE: Mother Jones has posted the full video of Romney’s May 17 fundraiser.