Mitt Romney Pushes Economy and Israel

GOP Nominee Tells Jewish Voters He Can Do Better

Mitt’s Message: The GOP convention ended with a rousing cry: We can do better. Does Mitt Romney’s message have a chance with Jewish voters?
getty images
Mitt’s Message: The GOP convention ended with a rousing cry: We can do better. Does Mitt Romney’s message have a chance with Jewish voters?

By JTA

Published August 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Romney’s commitment to Israel and criticisms of Obama’s record on this issue were recurring themes in Tampa. On Wednesday evening, the convention played a one-and-half minute video focused on Romney’s July trip to Israel. That night, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both cited Israel in discussing allies that they said needed to be able to count on American leadership.

But foreign policy came only at the end of a speech that was, like the convention itself, largely focused on introducing the former Massachusetts governor to voters and assailing Obama’s record on the economy and the president’s past comments on what the creators of businesses owe to society.

Social issues, meanwhile, got short shrift at the convention. Staunch social conservatives, such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Romney primary rival Rick Santorum, alluded to abortion and same-sex marriage only briefly in their addresses.

In his own speech, Romney – who supported abortion rights as governor of Massachusetts before later switching his position – included only a passing two-sentence reference telegraphing his opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage, as well as his support of religious institutions resisting the Obama administration’s mandate guaranteeing birth control coverage for employees.

“As president, I will protect the sanctity of life,” he said. “I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion.”

The birth control coverage mandate and the religious freedom concerns of the policy’s opponents was alluded to by several speakers.

The convention was also book-ended by prayers delivered by public critics of the Obama administration’s policy. On Tuesday, the hurricane-delayed convention’s first full day, the invocation was offered by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, a rising Modern Orthodox star from a distinguished rabbinic family who testified before Congress against the policy. On Thursday evening, the convention concluded with a benediction from New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been in the forefront of the opposition to the policy.

While social issues were not the main focus at the convention podium, Democrats have made the issue of abortion rights a signal element in their pitch to Jewish voters. The Republican Party’s platform opposed abortion, without mentioning exceptions for rape and incest.


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!
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • 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.