CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Monday held Romney senior campaign adviser Tara Wall’s feet to the fire on the former Massachusetts governor “completely contradictory” positions about whether Israel and the Palestinians could live in peace.
In a secretly recorded video published by Mother Jones last month, Romney had told a group of wealthy donors: “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”
But during major foreign policy speech scheduled for Monday, the Republican presidential nominee is expected to say that he is committed to “a Democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.”
O’Brien on Monday asked Wall to describe Romney’s true position because his two earlier statements were “completely contradictory.”
“The fact is that it’s the president who’s failed,” Wall explained.
“Tara, that was an excellent shift, but answer for me about Gov. Romney,” O’Brien said.
“I think the governor had made his position clear relative to where we stand with Israel,” Wall replied.
“He hasn’t, is my point,” the CNN host noted. “He hasn’t. … My point is that it’s completely contradictory. Then, tell me how it’s not completely contradictory in your viewpoint, but don’t talk to me about President Obama at this moment. Answer the question about Gov. Romney.”
“We will stand side by side with Israel and the governor has made that clear,” Wall insisted. “I’m not going to get into a big foreign policy debate with you here. That’s not my position, that’s not my role. You know, if you want to talk about that, you know, I suggest you put on a couple foreign affairs experts and let them go at it and pick this apart the way you’d like to have it picked apart.”
“That’s unfair,” O’Brien concluded. “I’m only asking you about a contradictory message. But that’s fine. Or you could explain it then.”
Romney was scheduled to give his foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington at 11:20 a.m. ET on Monday.
Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast Oct. 8, 2012.