Menu
Home

Politics

Romney Holds Unprecedented Fundraiser in Israel

JERUSALEM, Israel - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is doing something Monday morning that no candidate before him, from either party, has ever done -- hold a fundraiser in Israel. About 20 to 30 people are expected to attend, pay $50,000 a couple, and bring in about $1 million for the candidate.

Romney also pulled in $2 million in London, with American citizens living abroad from all over Europe coming to see him while he was in town to meet with British officials and attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

Overseas fundraising has become somewhat of a new phenomenon in the last decade or so, with former President George W. Bush, Sens. John McCain and John Kerry also raising cash abroad, but mostly in London.

It's Israel specifically that makes this occasion unique. London is an easy commute for Europeans, but Israel becomes more intense for anyone traveling -- given the security and trouble to come here, along with the risky nature of looking like the candidate's raising money off Israeli politics.

Several Jewish donors from the United States are expected to fly over for the fundraiser.

The event was initially scheduled for Sunday, but was moved after old friend and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited him to a private, intimate dinner at Netanyahu's personal residence to break the fast of the Jewish holiday Tisha-V-av.

He's also bringing a little monetary star power, with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson coming over for the fundraiser. Adelson also owns a Jewish newspaper and has pledged tens of millions of dollars to pro-Romney Super PACs.

The Obama campaign was quick to point out ahead of Romney's trip that then Senator Obama never raised money during his eight day foreign trip in 2008. Obama gave a major speech in Berlin and the Romney campaign noted that the democratic candidate did an online fundraising drive after.

Romney's fundraiser at the King David Hotel was initially closed to reporters, but later opened it up, following protocol from other previous events at public venues.

The Republican candidate heads to Poland after the fundraiser Monday morning and wraps up his foreign tour focusing on the Eastern European country's democratic and economic success and also positioning his message on Russia.