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Mitt's Romney's Jerusalem fundraiser will be private

July 28, 2012|By Maeve Reston
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt… (Charles Dharapak / Associated…)

JERUSALEM -- Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who has committed more than $30 million to independent efforts to defeat President Obama, is expected to be among the donors mingling with Mitt Romney on Monday at a fundraiser in Jerusalem. But the Romney campaign has decided to bar reporters from that event -- breaking the protocol of an agreement developed with reporters and the campaign months ago.

The presumed Republican nominee's campaign opened fundraisers to a small pool of reporters in May, as long as they were being held in public venues like hotels and restaurants. Those in private homes were deemed off-limits.

PHOTOS: Romney's travels abroad

But Romney's traveling press secretary, Rick Gorka, said Saturday that Monday's fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem would be closed and declined to offer an explanation. Dan Senor, the senior policy advisor who helped plan the Israel trip, referred questions to Romney headquarters.

Adelson, the billionaire chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, almost singlehandedly kept Romney's one-time rival, Newt Gingrich, in the GOP nominating race by donating more than $21.5 million to Winning Our Future, the "super PAC" that supported the former House speaker.

In June, Adelson directed $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future.

Romney arrived in Tel Aviv shortly after 9 p.m. local time Saturday. He plans to spend virtually all 36 hours of his trip in Jerusalem, meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He will deliver remarks about the threats facing Israel on Sunday evening near the end of the Jewish holiday Tisha B'av.

After the speech, Romney will attend a traditional fast-breaking meal at the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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maeve.reston@latimes.com

Twitter: @maevereston

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