July 27th, 2012
02:40 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - The day before Mitt Romney makes a highly publicized trip to Israel, President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill passed by Congress designed to increase security ties with the Jewish state.
Both the timing of Friday's event and the presence of TV cameras opened the White House to accusations of political maneuvering in a presidential election year.
Obama's schedule for this week, distributed by the White House on July 20, made no mention of the signing of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. The measure won final approval from Congress on July 17, receiving strong bipartisan support.
White House spokesman Jay Carney denied any political intent with the timing of the bill signing, saying the measure passed last week and Obama was traveling from Sunday to Wednesday.
"The president's been on the road, and today was the day to sign it," he said Friday. (READ MORE)