Rumored 2012 presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently told an audience at the American Family Association‘s gathering in Iowa that the United States is run by “a secular, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish elite, which is seeking to impose on us rules that make zero sense.”
Gingrich’s statement is flat wrong and exemplifies the Republican Party’s use of demagoguery to scare voters. If anyone were to spend just a few minutes examining the records and positions of leading Democrats, including President Barack Obama, one would find that Democratic leaders are anything but anti-Jewish—and that other charges are equally without merit.
Obama has a demonstrated record of strong support for Israel on a range of matters including Israel’s security, defending its legitimacy at the United Nations, and leading the global effort to sanction Iran for its nuclear weapons program. Obama has also held a number of intimate meetings with American Jewish leaders and the majority of his positions and policies mirror the values of American Jews. Further, Obama has regularly held gatherings with Jewish officials during holiday seasons, including his own Passover Seders, and annually celebrates Jewish-American Heritage Month with a diverse gathering of American Jews.
Other leading Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—in addition to the 10 Jewish Democrats (and two independents) in the Senate and the 25 Jewish Democrats in the House—have consistently championed the issues of concern to the vast majority of American Jews. All of this is reflected in the consistent poll data that demonstrates Jews are strongly Democratic and liberal.
But given the audience to which Gingrich made his remarks, it is apparent that he is not trying to gain Jewish votes. Instead, he is choosing to ally himself with the activist faction of the so-called “values” camp within the Republican Party. With his remarks, Gingrich has proven yet again that he will say outrageous and dangerous things just to gain the support of extremist elements within the Republican Party’s right-wing base.