CNN’s O’Brien bludgeons Romney adviser with Israel-policy ‘contradiction’

October 8, 2012

In a contentious discussion with Tara Wall, a communications adviser for the Romney campaign, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien cites a contradiction in the Republican candidate’s position toward Israel. In his upcoming foreign policy address, Romney plans to “recommit” the country to a “democratic, prosperous Palestinian state”; yet in the secretly recorded video of “47 percent” fame, Romney professed that the Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever” in peace.

When O’Brien pressed Wall on the “completely contradictory” positions, Wall went deflective: “The fact is it’s the president who’s failed in the negotiation process,” she said. O’Brien congratulated her for an “excellent shift” but insisted that she answer the question. She said that a Romney administration would stand “side by side with Israel.” Which is tantamount to not answering the question.

The puzzle here is why Wall chose lame dodges instead of citing the portion of that surreptitiously taped video in which Romney says he’s ”torn” between two perspectives on this matter.. One is the perspective that O’Brien cites in her question and the other is a peace-is-possible outlook. Herewith more Romney from that surreptitious video:

So the only answer is show strength, again. American strength, American resolve, and if the Palestinians someday reach a point where they want peace more than we’re trying to force peace on them, then it’s worth having the discussion. But until then it’s just wishful thinking.

In her question to Wall, O’Brien should have cited that passage as well. What Romney said about the Israel-Palestine issue in that “47 percent” fundraiser was complicated, and its essence wasn’t captured in the question that O’Brien posed.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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