President Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney Battling for Jewish Support

This week, both President Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney tried to appeal to Jewish voters.

Romney held a short teleconference with Jewish leaders on Thursday. According to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), the call lasted about twenty minutes. During the call, according to the JTA, Romney, wished Jewish leaders a “sweet new year” and discussed topics including: education, restoring the economy, gaining energy independence, reducing taxes, improving international trade relations and reducing the federal deficit. According to Arutz Sheva, Romney also stressed the need for an aggressive approach toward halting Iran’s nuclear program.

President Obama also addressed the threat of a nuclear Iran on Thursday. According to Arutz Sheva’s Elad Benari, he spoke out against Iran at a campaign event in Florida – where he and Romney are battling for the support of Jewish voters. According to Benari, the president told his audience, “We’re still threatened by an Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons and I’ve been absolutely clear that our policy is not to allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon.”

UN Ambassador Susan Rice also addressed the problem of a nuclear Iran on Thursday at a United Nations Security Council meeting. According to Arutz Sheva’s Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Rice told the council that time was running out. “We will not,” she said, according to Gedalyahu, “engage in an endless process of negotiations that fail to produce any results.”

Yet the Obama administration stopped short of setting the sort of red line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested that it set. While Rice told Iran that time was running out, she did not say when time would actually be up. The administration’s unwillingness to set such lines for Iran has been a source of frustration for Netanyahu. He said, earlier in the month, that those who would not set red lines for Iran lacked the moral authority to set up a red light in front of Israel.

This tension has helped bolster the Republican argument that the Obama administration is weak on Israel. However, while Republicans hoped that such news might hurt Obama’s standing with Jewish voters – particularly in battleground states like Florida, Obama still enjoys overwhelming support from the Jewish community. Indeed, The New York Post reports that Obama maintains a 5-point lead over Romney in Florida.

Filed Under: Politics


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Miranda Flint About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda

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