By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — Days after Mitt Romney backed off his claim, made during a secretly recorded fundraiser, that 47 percent of Americans depend on the government and see themselves as victims, the Republican presidential nominee is set to soften another controversial remark he made that night.
In a heavily hyped foreign policy address at the Virginia Military Institute on Monday, Romney plans to declare his commitment to the notion of “a Democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.” According to advance excerpts of his remarks provided by the campaign, he will also knock President Barack Obama for failing to make progress on a two-state solution, instead abdicating responsibility to international institutions like the United Nations.
“In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new president will bring the chance to begin anew,” Romney will say.
Romney is hardly the first political figure to criticize Obama for inaction on the Israel-Palestine conflict. A number of Middle East observers have expressed their frustration with the hand the president has played on this front. But the idea that Romney is eager to forge ahead with the two-state solution in a way Obama failed to do contradicts his own words.