This weekend, Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Texas Governor Rick Perry participated in back-to-back debates in which they clearly displayed that the chasm separating most American Jews form the 2012 presidential field has never been wider. Transcripts are available here for Saturday night’s debate and here for Sunday morning’s debate. Below are some “highlights”:
* Romney continued to spread falsehoods about President Barack Obama’s efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Once again, Romney ignored the effectiveness of the most recent sanctions that Obama signed into law. Also, as JTA’s Ron Kampeas pointed out, Romney gave Obama no credit for his actions—contrary to what is written on Romney’s campaign site. Click here to read Kampeas’ analysis of Romney’s Iran statements, and here to read a similar recent debunking in which Romney’s assessment “doesn’t quite jibe” with the facts.
* Romney also pledged to support the eventual Republican nominee. Presumably his sweeping statement includes the anti-Israel Paul, who Romney has already said he would support as the nominee. Interestingly though, Paul continued to withhold a similar pledge.
* Santorum said that a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage would break up existing same-sex couples.
* Per usual, Paul railed against Iran sanctions.
* Paul also went to great lengths to avoid definitively answering questions about the anti-Semitic, racist, and conspiratorial newsletters that went out under his name.
* And after stumbling in a previous debate on this question, Perry correctly identified the three areas of government that he would totally eliminate as President: the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Commerce.
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