Suppose a voting issue for you is which presidential candidate would be more likely to acquiesce in an Israeli air raid against Iran'snuclear program. Superficially, it's no contest. Mitt Romney has said there wouldn't be an "inch" between the U.S. and Israel if he were president, and he gave a tough speech in Jerusalem saying that preventing Iran from developing the capacity to build a nuclear weapon "our highest national security priority."
On the other hand, as my colleague Maeve Reston pointed out:
"Romney did not explicitly break with the policy set out by his Democratic opponent, President Obama, who has said that no option is off the table when dealing with Iran. Although Romney has insisted that he would not criticize the president during a three-country tour, he implicitly did so toward the end of his speech."
But, on the third hand:
"'Standing by Israel does not mean with military and intelligence cooperation alone,' he said. 'We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel's adversaries.' "
Then there was what Romney didn't say. He didn't reiterate his aide Dan Senor's comment that "If Israel has to take action on its own to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision." Asked about Senor's formulation, Romney said: "I respect the right of Israel to defend itself and America [is] always on the side of Israel, but I'm not going to be more specific than that with regards to the actions Israel might take."