Romney seems to be positioning himself to capture neoconservative support

on 13 Comments

Two Romney items. Justin Elliott reports at Salon on Mitt Romney’s foreign policy adviser’s support for a terrorist group that is aimed at Iran. You’ll note that Daniel Pipes loves this group:

A foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been active in recent months in an advocacy campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of an underground organization in Iran known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq. The MEK has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a “terrorist” organization.

Mitchell Reiss, former director of policy planning at the State Department during the Bush administration, is now advising the former Massachusetts governor on foreign policy, the New Republic recently reported. Reiss also advised Romney’s 2008 campaign…

The Obama administration, which has engaged in complex negotiations with the Iranians over their nuclear aspirations, is being pressured to “delist” the MEK by those who say this would help undermine the Iranian regime, which is seen as a threat to Israel, a U.S. ally.

“With one simple signature, the Obama administration can help empower Iranians to seize control over their destiny — and perhaps end the mullahs’ mad nuclear dash,” wrote Daniel Pipes in National Review last month.

Then there’s this from Business Insider. Romney taking Wall Street money from Obama. I don’t know who these guys are (apart from the fact that Schafer once worked for Michael Steinhardt, a giant Israel supporter), but I’m guessing they’re pretty conservative on Middle East issues:

At least 67 Wall Street executives who backed President Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign are abandoning his campaign for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s, The Hill reports.

Romney, who founded Bain Capital, is viewed by many as better for the financial sector than Obama — who signed the controversial Dodd-Frank regulatory bill.

Among the donors who have changed sides are Joshua Harris of Apollo Management, Oscar Schafer of OSS Capital Management, David Solomon of Goldman Sachs, Barry Sternlicht of the Starwood Capital Group, and David Blitzer of the Blackstone Group.

13 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    August 24, 2011, 11:46 am

    That hill piece had a great line :

    “It’s not healthy for rich people to feel maligned”

    The Hill piece went on to say that alot of these guys are full of sht and have given to both candidates – they’re just trying to corner the market. It is a billion dollar campaign after all.

    As for the foreign policy adviser, I dont think it matters that much. Romney is just covering his bases, making sure the crazy right wingers that would vote for him know that he is talking to crazy right wingers. I really dont think Mitt Romney would be the guy to invade or bomb Iran.

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 24, 2011, 12:58 pm

      “I really dont think Mitt Romney would be the guy to invade or bomb Iran.”

      I agree. It’s almost worth it, if you’re in one of the early primary states, to register Repbulican so that someone like Romney or Huntsman will get some support, to insure that a crazy like Bachmann or Perry gets the nod.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 24, 2011, 3:12 pm

        “that a crazy like Bachmann or Perry gets the nod.”

        should be “doesn’t get the nod.”

    • lysias
      August 24, 2011, 2:03 pm

      I really dont think Mitt Romney would be the guy to invade or bomb Iran.

      I remember George W. Bush insisting, in one of the 2000 debates, that the U.S. should have a humble foreign policy and not do any nation-building.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 24, 2011, 3:13 pm

        “I remember George W. Bush insisting, in one of the 2000 debates, that the U.S. should have a humble foreign policy and not do any nation-building.”

        But in fairness to George Bush (imagine typing THAT!!), that was pre-9/11 and his foreign policy tactics did seem to change after that event. (The strategy never changed, of course.)

      • pabelmont
        August 24, 2011, 6:50 pm

        In fairness to history, Bush/Cheney were lusting for an excuse to invade Iraq. 9/11 had to be tortured to provide that excuse, but finally did so (see: torture does some good after all).

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 25, 2011, 9:36 am

        I don’t beleive that, absent 9/11 there would have been an invasion. I think they would have taken out Saddam, but not via invasion.

      • Dan Crowther
        August 24, 2011, 3:46 pm


        True. At the time he was more interested in slashing taxes for rich folks and privatizing social security.

        Im from massachusetts, and i know this is gonna sound crazy – but he was actually a pretty good governor. we owe our huge bio-tech and start up business sector largely to him. i dont think he would take us on another “crusade” – i dont think the whole clash of cultures thing motivates him like it did Bush and Co. Of course, the keyword in my original post was “think” – i admit i dont know it for a fact. but my from own limited experience with romney, he’s pretty mild.

  2. annie
    August 24, 2011, 11:59 am

    The Obama administration…….. is being pressured to “delist” the MEK by those who say this would help undermine the Iranian regime, which is seen as a threat to Israel, a U.S. ally.

    i have an idea. instead of labeling these militias terrorists why don’t we just start funding militias all across the middle east to act as our proxies. we could do it covertly, the american people would never know. so, what kind of alleged terror attacks does this mek group carry out? do they assassinate and kidnap people like that other militia called jundullah we would never think of funding? come to think of it, why wouldn’t we fund jundullah? hey that’s a good idea. maybe i should write romney or the state department and suggest they should fund jundullah instead of the mek. jundullah has an impressive track record.

    • annie
      August 24, 2011, 12:23 pm

      hey, i was just googling around a little and guess what i found from 07? abcnews:

      ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran

      A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.

      The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

      It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

      U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or “finding” as well as congressional oversight. Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.

      Jundullah has produced its own videos showing Iranian soldiers and border guards it says it has captured and brought back to Pakistan. The leader, Regi, claims to have personally executed some of the Iranians.

      “He used to fight with the Taliban. He’s part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist,” said Alexis Debat, a senior fellow on counterterrorism at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant who recently met with Pakistani officials and tribal members.

      impressive. Jundullah was the same group that blew up a mosque and killed dozens of people in iran last year. but we know the US would never fund blowing up a mosque like the one in iraq that kicked off the civil war there.

      sorry for going so OT. every time i think about neocons supporting terror my mind starts to wander.

    • pabelmont
      August 24, 2011, 6:53 pm

      There was a news story a while back about some USers (neocons?) who were talking to MEK and maybe giving them money or support. There is a US statute about punishing people who provide support to (lister, natch) terrorist groups, but these guys never got prosecuted, unlike people who gave to hospitals “fronting” for Hamas. (Oh, it jist ain’t fair!)

      • annie
        August 24, 2011, 7:53 pm

        yeah, the mek are our terror buddies

  3. lysias
    August 24, 2011, 2:01 pm

    “The Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go.” Schiller, Fiesco.

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