WASHINGTON, DC- The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today expressed concern over the appearance of controversial religious broadcaster Pat Robertson at a fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday. Robertson is known for his offensive and outlandish remarks and the Romney campaign’s decision to host him confirms that Romney is just one of many extremist candidates seeking the GOP nomination. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
“Mitt Romney—the ultimate political chameleon—has strived to be known as one of the more moderate among this field of Republican presidential candidates. Yet by associating with Pat Robertson he has chosen to pander to extremists who refuse to separate church and state, and worse. If associating oneself with Pat Robertson is the Republican Party’s version of ‘moderate,’ let alone a litmus test for Evangelical support, their field of 2012 candidates stands precious little chance of winning the Jewish vote.”
Politico’s Jonathan Martin put it best:
If Robertson’s name is in the news now, it’s only to recount his latest incendiary comment. Which is why it’s puzzling that Romney—an uber-cautious frontrunner—would appear with the former Christian Coalition chief.
The paper trail of Robertson’s is extensive and, along with his advancing age, is the reason why he’s become marginalized. He blamed Hurricane Katrina on America’s abortion policy, explained the Haiti earthquake by claiming the country had made a ‘pact with the devil,’ the list goes on. [Politico, July 28, 2011]
Robertson has written and declared that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. [The Ten Offenses, excerpted by CBN] He uses his extreme belief to regularly challenge the First Amendment. [CBN.com] [Pat Robertson.com]
As Newsweek’s Michelle Goldberg wrote, “Republican politics have never been so fully Christianized…. Jews know they can never be full citizens of a Christian nation.” [Tablet, July 25, 2011]
Romney’s acceptance of Robertson challenges his own efforts to appear as a moderate. While Romney has avoided social issues in the past, his affiliation with Robertson shows that he is willing to bend to the most extreme voices to gain political power. The majority of American Jews are overwhelmingly offended by so many of Robertson’s statements, and this episode helps to illustrate Mitt Romney’s true colors to the Jewish community. It is once again obvious that even the supposedly moderate wing of the Republican Party is far too extreme for the vast majority of American Jews.