Republican Jews Hone Message in Tampa

Look To Win Over Bigger Slice of Jewish Vote for Romney

Gathering GOP: Delegates at the Republican Convention watch a video about Mitt Romney as the gathering came to life.
getty images
Gathering GOP: Delegates at the Republican Convention watch a video about Mitt Romney as the gathering came to life.

By Nathan Guttman

Published August 28, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Tropical storm Isaac did little to dampen the spirits of Republicans gathered for their nominating convention in Florida, and once the skies cleared and gusty winds died down, politicking was back in full force.

The three-day truncated convention, opening Tuesday in Tampa, has been described by commentators as Mitt Romney’s chance to reinvent himself by presenting a more likeable face to the American people. For Jewish Republicans, it is an opportunity to drive home a couple of messages they believe can help Romney win over a bigger slice of the Jewish electorate. There are also a series of Jewish-related events, from Rabbi Meir Soloveichik delivering the opening night invocation, to behind the scenes appearance by top donor Sheldon Adelson.

Republican activists speak of breaking the 30% mark in Jewish support in the upcoming elections. Democrats have admitted they might face a slight erosion in Jewish support from the 75%-plus share that Barack Obama took in 2008.

A key message for Jewish Republicans at the convention will be advancing the image of Mitt Romney as more supportive of Israel than Obama. Helping to make the point will be several events hosted during the convention by the Republican Jewish Coalition, including a “Salute for pro-Israel Elected Officials” and an event honoring Republican governors. Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, a leading voice in the hawkish end of the pro-Israel spectrum, will also brief Jewish Republicans.

But a couple of events that had grabbed the headlines in recent days have made Jewish Republicans’ job just a bit more difficult.

First was the prominent role played by libertarian Ron Paul just before the convention officially kicked off. Paul, a former presidential candidate, held a rally in Tampa in which he accused “neo-conservatives” and “special interests” of pushing American foreign policy in the direction of overseas intervention. Paul is a well known critic both of Israel and of America’s support for the Jewish State.

Paul was not allowed to speak at the convention but organizers did include a tribute to the Texas congressman in the convention program. This was enough for Jewish Democrats to attack the GOP and for honoring the Israel critic. Jewish Republicans chose to look at the half full glass, pointing to organizers’ decision not to give Paul a speaking slot on stage.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.