Romney brings in $1 million at Israel fundraiser

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

JERUSALEM—Mitt Romney raised more than $1 million at a campaign fundraiser here on his way out of Israel.

At least 40 donors paid between $25,000 and $50,000 apiece to attend a breakfast with Romney at a hotel—including Las Vegas casino magnet Sheldon Adelson, who has contributed more than $20 million to Republicans and conservative super PACS so far this election cycle. Of that total, $10 million went to Restore Our Future, a political committee backing Romney's bid for president.

Romney has made a concerted effort to woo Adelson, who contributed millions to a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich's presidential bid during the GOP primary. The two men met privately when Romney was in Las Vegas in late May. On Sunday, Adelson, along with other top Jewish donors to the campaign, scored prime seats to a speech Romney delivered in the Old City. During Monday's fundraiser, Adelson scored a seat right next to Romney at the head table at the breakfast.

Speaking to donors here, Romney emphasized the close ties between the United States and Israel and cast himself as a friendly ally to the country. It was a message he's echoed repeatedly throughout his trip here, as he's sought to contrast himself with his Democratic rival, President Barack Obama. And he emphasized faith—a subject he rarely addresses on the campaign trail back home.

"I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God," Romney said. "I come to this place, therefore, with a sense of profound humility, as I look around here at great people who've accomplished a great thing, and also a sense of spiritual connection, acknowledging the hand of providence in establishing this place and making it a holy city."

Romney's finance event marked the first time a presidential candidate has raised cash in Israel. The campaign accepted contributions only from American citizens—since candidates and parties are blocked from raising cash from foreign sources. Romney's fundraiser comes just days after he raised more than $2 million at a finance event in London.

The proceeds went to the Romney Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between the Romney campaign, Republican National Committee and several state parties.