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Mitt Romney Suggests Hezbollah-Style Health Diplomacy

At a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa in July 2007 Mitt Romney suggested that America should engage in health diplomacy similar to the approach that Hezbollah has taken in Lebanon. Hezbollah has benefited politically by building schools and clinics which offer free education and health services to the people of southern Lebanon. Romney is pointing out that American diplomacy could benefit from a similar approach.

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"Did you notice in Lebanon, what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a democracy some time ago and while their government was getting underway, Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having done so. That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest towards modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world. And so, I want to see America carry out that kind of health diplomacy."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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