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!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • 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.