Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and wife Miriam were visible in the audience at presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on Israel-U.S. relations in Jerusalem.
Romney, out to show his foreign policy chops in a friendly setting, hit all the right notes in a speech that took Iran and Syria to task while reassuring all present that he was a great friend of Israel. Few surprises there.
Nor was it shocking the Las Vegas Sands chairman would sit in. He has become a big backer of Romney with multimillion-dollar super PAC contributions. He’s also been active in the drive to increase Romney’s support in the Jewish community.
"We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms," said Romney, the walls of the Old City lining the hilltop behind him. "And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries.
"We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you."