Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who touched down here Saturday night for a day of meetings with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders, plans to wrap up his visit to Israel by collecting money from some of his biggest benefactors behind closed doors.
Some of Romney’s Jewish donors are flying here from the United States to attend the Jerusalem fundraiser on Monday morning, including Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has pledged to personally give tens of millions of dollars to a pro-Romney super PAC.
But Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.
Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”
“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.
They negotiated a deal? What were the terms of that agreement? To be a binding contract Romney would have to be getting something in return.
This is really funny considering that Obama routinely bans the media from fundraisers and they even confiscate cell phones to prevent any unauthorized videos from slipping out. Any reporter that misbehaves is banned from the White House press pool.
One Kool Aid blogger suggested that Romney was limiting the freedom of the press. That’s just silly because a) Romney is a private citizen and b) freedom of the press has to do with what they report, not the places where they are entitled to go.
There is really no downside here for Romney. They are going to slant their stories against him anyway so why help them? Let them stand outside in the rain. What are they gonna do, write bad stories about him? It’s not like the public will care, the media get less respect than lawyers and used car salesmen these days.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign reversed its decision to bar reporters from an upcoming fund-raiser in Jerusalem, saying on Sunday it will now allow a pool of journalists to cover the presumptive GOP nominee’s remarks.
The reporters, however, will be escorted out before Romney takes questions from the audience during the event on Monday.
I must say I’m disappointed in Mitt. He should have told them to fuck off.