The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) tonight thanked the 2012 Republican presidential candidate field for espousing positions that are so out of step with the mainstream of American Jewry that they firmly reminded the American Jewish community why it votes so reliably Democratic. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris issued the following statement in response to tonight’s debate:
Tonight’s dismal Republican debate may have been painful to watch for many Americans—but especially so for American Jews. On national television, we witnessed a field of Republican candidates doing just about everything they could to remind Jews why they overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party.
From attacking health care reform and the social safety net to proposing flawed solutions to Medicare and Social Security, the candidates in tonight’s debate made it clear that they are uninterested in preserving the programs and policies valued by the vast mainstream of our community. And that is to say nothing of their collective positions tonight on social issues, which so many American Jews find socially regressive, if not repugnant.
Moreover, the performance by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Herman Cain left me wondering where they were yesterday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded President Barack Obama’s speech to the UN and said that Obama wore his support of Israel like a ‘badge of honor.’ [The New York Daily News, September 21, 2011] It is profoundly disturbing that these candidates would continue to engage in such attacks against this pro-Israel President based purely on partisan politics—despite all of the statements from Israeli leaders, the President’s widely-applauded record of diplomatic and military support for Israel, and the growing number of impartial, Republican, and Democratic observers calling out these candidates for their inappropriate and dangerous behavior. [AP, September 21, 2011] [NJDC, September 22, 2011]
As the candidates gain more exposure over the coming months, the historic bond between the American Jewish community and the Democratic Party will be reaffirmed and strengthened because most in our community will witness—again and again—that today’s Republican Party is deeply out of touch with their Jewish values. The Republican primary process will help prove that the Democratic Party remains the one natural political home for American Jews.