We just landed in Israel.
Below are the notes all of us on this trip received from the press pool:
Mitt and Ann Romney walked hand-in-hand down the plane stairway, which had an Israeli flag emblazoned on the side. They waved to the press before boarding a black SUV — Romney escorted Ann to the left side of the car before returning to climb in on the right. (Josh Romney preceded them by several minutes.)
+Also, advisers Lanhee Chen and Dan Senor held dueling briefings just before landing. I listened in to Chen. Uni folks all there of course. Verbates in quotes from campaign policy director Lanhee Chen.
What Obama said on his overseas trip in ’08, he seemed like he was more forthcoming?
“Very different situation, all right, because we didn’t have an incumbent president. We had an incumbent president, he just wasn’t running for reelection.”
Was that frustrating?
Obviously I think our intent was to get a lot of that overseas stuff in Reno…I think we felt like we were able to kind of do that, and now we can kind of refer back to that and say, refer back to that speech and see what it is that we were trying to say…
On London meetings
“The governor got along really well with everyone who we met. And they’re obviously really concerned about the pressure from the EuroZone. I think it’s the prevailing sense of most people we talked to that this could get really ugly pretty soon. And obviously there are implications for the world, particularly for our economy, so I think that the ability to share those insights was really valuable for us to hear.”
“My sense is just that they feel very strongly that what’s happening in Europe has such a substantial effect on them because they have such an open economy. They’re very dependent on trade. And so from their perspective, they’re gonna be much more – it’s kind of like if Europe catches a cold they catch the flu. So they’re obviously concerned about that.”
Timetable about EuroZone problems? (this was a little confusing):
“The message was sort of, this may happen sooner than you in the US think it’s going to happen.”
On London stories about Romney’s “disconcerting” comments:
Said Romney’s discussions with officials and his time on the ground made him feel like it’s going to be a “fantastic” Olympics.
“From our perspective, our goal was to go in there and to meet with the UK officials, and to get their perspective, so in that sense we succeeded in doing that.
Gov also got to opening ceremonies and enjoyed himself last night.
Heading to Israel, Chen said a nuclear Iran is the biggest threat the world faces. Regarding Romney’s comments several months ago about Russia being the US’ number one geopolitical foe, he said Romney how Russia interferes with policy objectives (for example in Syria and Iran).
There is a sense that Assad is a problem that’s going to need to be dealt with from the European perspective. Recognition that the time horizon is shifting closer and closer.