July 29, 2012 in Nation/World

Small Romney fundraiser in Israel closed to the press

Kasie Hunt Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

TEL AVIV, Israel – U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney plans to raise campaign money in private while in Israel.

Romney’s campaign is barring reporters from a fundraiser at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel and not saying why. At U.S. events, Romney’s remarks to donors in communal spaces such as hotels are typically public.

President Barack Obama allows reporters to hear his words at fundraisers, though he generally bars them from listening to question-and-answer sessions with those in attendance. The president sometimes allows coverage of his remarks at events in private homes.

Romney traveling press secretary Rick Gorka, asked to comment, simply said, “Closed press, closed press, closed press,” as he walked down the aisle of the candidate’s campaign plane during the flight from London to Tel Aviv.

Some of Romney’s wealthiest U.S. supporters plan to attend Monday’s fundraiser. They include casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who’s donated millions to a group backing Romney and is a leading backer of Republican Jewish groups in the U.S.

Donors at the event were asked to contribute $50,000 or to raise $100,000. Romney advisers say the event is expected to raise more than $1 million. The fundraiser will be relatively small, likely with about 50 attendees, giving Romney the chance to interact more personally than he does in many of the larger events.

Romney sometimes has given donors more policy specifics than he includes in his standard campaign speeches. At a fundraiser this spring in Florida, for example, he offered new details on how he might cut government and which deductions he might eliminate as part of his tax plan. The event was overheard by reporters standing on a public sidewalk.

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