Rubio Promises First Trip to Israel as President

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio promised to make a visit to Israel his first foreign trip if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee and goes on to win the White House next fall.

During a town hall meeting in Sarasota, Florida on Monday, Rubio was asked by a person in the audience, “What will be your first foreign trip and why?”

“Israel,” Rubio said to loud applause.

Mitt Romney made the same pledge when he was running for the Republican nomination in 2012. “I will travel to Israel on my first foreign trip. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I want the world to know that the bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable,” Romney said during an appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum in December of 2011. In the end, it was President Barack Obama who travelled to Israel in the first trip abroad after his reelection.

Rubio’s rival for the nomination, former Florida Governor Jeb bush refused to make the same pledge. During a recent interview with Jewish Insider, Jeb was asked if he is planning a trip to Israel during the campaign or as the first trip abroad as president? “I’ve been to Israel five times. I don’t have plans to visit there,” he said. “But what I’ve said is that on Day One, I would announce that the U.S. Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

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