WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney is seeking to capitalize on his recent trip to Israel
with a new ad featuring him on that visit.
The ad opens by asking
viewers, “Who shares your values?” and raps Barack Obama for never visiting
Israel while president.
Obama last visited in 2008 as a
“Mitt Romney will be a different kind of president, a strong
leader who stands by our allies,” the ad’s narrator intones.
campaign quickly pounced on the Republican candidate’s ad, releasing a statement
by Alan Solow, Obama for America campaign co-chair and former chair of the
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, firing
“When Mitt Romney says he will be a ‘different kind of president’
then voters have reason to be concerned,” Solow said in the statement. “Does he
mean he would cut Israel’s largest ever security aid package or does it mean he
would not build a coalition of allies to implement the harshest sanctions Iran
has ever seen?”
On Iran, however, the Obama campaign faced its own challenges on
Monday. The Washington Post
reported that a senior White House advisor had been
paid a hefty speaking fee by a company with ties to Iran.
Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and a White House staffer since 2011, received
$100,000 payment from MTN for two appearances in Nigeria in 2010, according to
MTN had at that point been in a publicly reported partnership
with an Iranian telecommunications company, Irancell, that the Treasury
determined was owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Post
Those types of relationships are likely to be affected by new
sanctions legislation passed by Congress and awaiting the president’s
The bill aims to punish international companies doing business
with key Iranian sectors, a practice long outlawed for American firms. There is
no indication Plouffe’s activities were illegal under current law.
House spokesman Eric Schultz told the Post
that Plouffe had given two speeches
on mobile technology and digital communication to MTN company
“At the time, not even the most zealous watchdog group on
this issue had targeted the Iranian business interests of the host’s holding
company,” the paper quoted him as saying.
The Obama campaign responded to
the story by raising questions about Romney’s own business dealings and those of
his advisors, charging that the candidate had failed to divest from
Iran-connected businesses until long after he pledged to do so.
happy to have a debate over what clients Mitt Romney’s advisors have chosen to
advise – from human rights abusers to Chinese oil companies – but what is more
significant is Romney’s own failure to keep his word when it came to Iran
divestment,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.