Romney Pitch To Jews Wrong



By now almost everybody has seen the pro-Mitt Romney ads aimed at Florida Jews.

They basically have one theme: President Barack Obama is bad for Israel.


Romney wears a yarmulke in Jerusalem

Let’s set aside that this is nauseating pandering. Let’s set aside that these ads stoke the age-old bias held by bigots that Jews have duel allegiances.

Statistics printed in Forward, the national Jewish newspaper, indicate that the tactic is just plain politically wrong.

Jews are expected to vote like others in this election. Economic issues and particularly Medicare and Social Security will be the issues foremost on their minds, according to the Forward article by University of Miami demographer Ira Sheskin.

It is not that Israel doesn’t matter.  It just won’t determine the vast majority of Jewish votes.

Sheskin quoted a national survey done four years ago.  Israel ranked eighth among Jewish concerns.  Only 15 percent of Jews chose Israel as one of their top three issues.

I would bet that those 15 percent are already Romney supporters.

But it is another statistic in Sheskin’s article that stands out:  Half of all Jewish voters in Florida are over 65.

Medicare and Social Security are the BIG issues for them, like other seniors.  On this issue, Romney and Ryan are at a disadvantage with their proposed voucher system, which would throw future senior medical care at the mercy of private insurance companies.

Anybody who has dealt with health insurance companies knows how that will work out!

How about the GOP’s plan to privatize Social Security?  Seniors, including Jews, are worried that will leave their futures subject to the whims of Wall Street.

I believe it will be tough for Republicans to  hide the fact from Jews that their base consists of far right conservatives.

It is a base opposed to a woman’s right to choose, birth control, stem cell research, immigrants and much of known science.

It is a base of  Christian zealots and Jews have a suspicion of Christians zealots based on 2,000 years of history.

Latest polls from the American Jewish Committee and Gallup found 7 out of 10 Jews are backing Obama.  That’s a slight drop since 2008.

True, Romney only has to prod only a few more Jews to vote for him to make the difference in a close race.

But by emphasizing Israel he and his supporters are using the wrong tactics.


A recent anti-Obama ad by the Republican Jewish Coalition, a pro-Romney political group (click to enlarge): 

9 Responses to “Romney Pitch To Jews Wrong”

  1. Franklin Filiberto says:

    i am a long time member and supporter of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. I don’t believe that most Jews feel Obamas snub of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was proper or decent.
    We as a nation, cannot afford to snub our long time ally in the Middle East. While Obama bows to people who call the U.S. “evil” and desire our demise.
    I cannot accept that most Jews do not find his actions an affront to their only homeland.
    We need a strong, fearless leader at the helm of the wheel of our government to keep our homeland safe and free.

  2. Nevins fan says:

    Glad you set the record straight on Romney’s inept pandering to Jews. Now, how about his sprayed-on tan when pandering to Latinos?

    Though it may seem this election is Obama’s to lose, we must not forget those voter suppression tactics Romney’s party has been using: Voter ID laws, filing lists of “invalid” registrants for election boards to verify, reducing the number of days for early voting and canceling early voting on Sundays (Thank you, Rick Scott)- all these are designed to reduce the number of low-income, Latino, African American and senior citizen voters.

    What we have to do is be sure to vote, encourage our friends to vote and volunteer at the local political headquarters to transport voters to the polls.

  3. DeeDee says:

    Franklin Filiberto.
    What about Netanyahu openly interfering in the American election? What snub? Not meeting with Netanyahu when Netanyahu wanted it.
    How would Romney have better relations with Israel? Netanyahu wants the U. S. involved in a third war in the Middle East that would be harder to fight and worse than anything we have had to fight so far. Obama is on the right course.

  4. 53% says:

    The American Jews are loyal only to the American Jews and no one else, including the USA. In less then 50 yrs the American Jews will be approx 1% or less of the American population. Their voting power will be insignificant. No serious candidate will court them. Netanyahu is well aware. Obama used them and now is throwing them under the bus. Romney will cement their future.

  5. Sam The Sham says:


    Your assumption that almost everyone has seen Romney’s ad is a little off the mark. I am a pretty well informed voter but have not seen it. Usually you post a link to things you discuss, but you haven’t done so this time. Without seeing it, I am at a disadvantage.

    I have a problem with your statement; “I believe it will be tough for Republicans to hide the fact from Jews that their base consists of right-wing conservatives.”

    First of all, the Republican Party is a conservative party, no one is trying to hide this and nobody should be surprised by this.

    “It is a base opposed to a woman’s right to choose, birth control, stem cell research, immigrants and much of known science.

    Romney’s platform (and its base) believe in a woman’s right to choose, they just place the issue where it is after rape, incest or the life of the mother. Both bases believe in “choice”, they just put the limits at different points along the continuum. Of course, Obama’s position of permissible infanticide is beyond the pale for either “base”, but nobody discusses that.

    Romney’s base believes in birth control they just don’t believe it is up to taxpayers to pay for it. They also believe in stem cell research, just not fetal stem cell research, which has pretty much been proven to be a dead end anyway. Conservatives believe that immigrants strengthen society, but floods of illegal immigrants is destructive. Stating that Romney’s base is against science is telling of your prejudice and misunderstanding of them.

    “It is a base of Christian zealots…”

    Zealots? Really? Give me a break.


    Because of your request, I posted one of the ads at the end of the piece.

    I also changed the phrase “right wing conservatives” to “far right conservatives,” which better reflects the point I am making.

    Barry Goldwater was a right-wing conservative. Goldwater wouldn’t get through a GOP primary today because the party is controlled by far right conservatives, many of them Christian zealots, who embrace social issues far out of the mainstream. Most Jews realize that, despite what the Republicans are saying about Israel.

  6. Floridan says:

    What I find particularly off-putting about the commercial is the part about President Obama being “disrespectful” to Netanyahu.

    First, I don’t believe there was any disrespect shown, or at least no more than if one of your neighbors asked to come over to your house and you told him this wasn’t a good time.

    Second, the phrase seems to connote that the President of the United States should be at the beck and call of the Prime Minister of Israel.

    I’m certainly committed to the right of Israel to exist as an independent state, but I’m not interested in getting dragged into a war on Netanyahu’s say-so.

    In the end, this ad is just a cynical ploy by the neo-cons supporting Romney’s campaign who hope to reinstitute a policy of belligerence in the Middle East.

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    Why would anyone want to meet with BBBB (Bibi and his Boris Batanoff Bomb). Netanyahu is the one who has attempted to embarrass the Prez starting with announcing 1600 new illegal homes in Jerusalem on the day the American Veep shows up.

    As for his threat to attack Iran it’s bullshit.

    The reason that I doubt this is true is that it is pretty clear that the leadership of the IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad are all sending a message that an attack on Iran will not work because of the numerous underground facilities.

    The Syria and Iraq facilities were in one location and above ground.

    With this information and a lot more, twelve of the eighteen former heads of these agencies have spoken out against the idea. Two favor it and four are silent.

    Meir Dagan, who just retired after heading Mossad for eight years, has called it: “the stupidest thing I ever heard”.

    Notwithstanding all the campaign promises for the last 40 years, every Prez since LBJ has supported the 1967 boundaries and refused to move our embassy to Jerusalem since no other nation on the planet will meet with them in Jerusalem.

    Bibi Netanyahu, following in his father’s racist, messianic beliefs is convinced that his god is directing his policies. He is controlled by the land pirates on the West Bank…

    There is one thing you can guarantee from an Israeli attack on Iran. The price of oil will jump to $200 a barrel. [Look at a map and the Straits of Hormuz where 20% of the world’s oil passes through. The insurance rates will instantly go up at least $50 a barrel]

    Think gas at $8 a gallon.

    Think a second recession only deeper.

    Think of the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S.

    You need to think about it because the Israeli Right and Bibi don’t.

    The Jewish Right in America (think Jewish Republicans, AIPAC ZOA) does not care since they have long held the belief that America should subordinate its interests to Israel and particularly the Likud Party.

    Some, like Jonathan Pollard, are traitors in law and fact. The rest are ideological traitors.

    Israel, once a dream of American Jews, has been turned into an albatross and a nightmare.

  8. The Truth says:

    The ad is for your mother’s generation. Those old racist jews who are already slightly uncomfortable with the president’s race.

  9. Sam The Sham says:


    The ad you posted is from a Jewish interest group targeting other Jews. How is that pandering? Romney did not make that ad.

    If I were Romney, I would catalog all the times Obama insulted or sided against our allies. It is a long list including the UK, France, Poland and just about all of eastern Europe and probably many more.

    Don’t forget his remarks about being more “flexible” after the election or his apology tour for every make believe snub this country ever made. Or the $400 million extra he wants for a country that just attacked our embassy.

    There is a lot of ammunition to use against Obama’s disastrous foreign policy.


    The RJC ads are coordinated with the Romney reelection campaign to make sure they sing from one hymnal. If you don’t believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

    By the way, casino czar Sheldon Adelson is behind these ads to the tune of $6.5 million. He is the same guy whose money is behind much in the GOP campaign this year.