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 3 of 3)

The Republican Jewish Coalition’s executive director, Matt Brooks, said that Democrats’ emphasis on abortion amounted to “scare tactics,” claiming that past Republican presidents have not changed the fact that abortion remains legal and that this reality was not going to change. “Being pro-choice does not mean that is the single most important issue you are going to vote for,” Brooks said.

In Tampa, Jewish Republicans, who tend to trend moderate on social issues, were sticking with their party despite its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

“We are more and more an integral part of the party,” said Rich Weissman, 58, who was attending both as a member of the RJC and the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group. “Over time, things like gay marriage will evolve,“ said Weissman, the owner of a data analytics business in Portland, Ore.

But Romney’s main emphasis, in any case, was on American families and their bottom lines. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans,” he said, and paused with a smirk, inspiring a rumble of laughter throughout the Tampa Bay Times Forum. He continued: “And heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

Romney outlined a five-point plan that projected energy independence by 2020; promised education reforms to give parents choice in which schools their children attend; pledged new trade agreements with other counties, but warned of “unmistakable consequences” for those that cheat; vowed to reduce the deficit; and called for helping small businesses by reducing their taxes, simplifying regulations and repealing Obama‘s signature health care plan.

National security was a preeminent issue the 2004 and 2008 elections; in each, war heroes who made their biographies central to their pitch lost to candidates who successfully made the case that their national security policies, if not their experience, were likelier to secure the nation. Romney’s pitch has been to first emphasize personal and financial security, and then to underscore his argument that such security is a predicate for a safer America.

“That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past,” he said, wrapping up his speech to burgeoning cheers. “That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.”

The single convention speech that was dedicated purely to foreign policy, by Rice, the former secretary of state, also had an economic emphasis.

“There is no country, no, not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us at home,” she said.

At least as far back as his first bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nod, Romney has taken a beating from detractors who deride him as colorless. The convention sought to make a strength of that perceived weakness: Drop the risky guy with the lofty visions. The boring, safe guy is the one to address your immediate concerns – jobs and the economy.

Romney’s speech synthesized the two overwhelming themes of the convention: The need to turn the economy around, which underpinned the keynote speech of the vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Wednesday night, and that Romney is the safe and likeable choice to make that happen, underscored in the keynote speech in which his wife, Ann, introduced him on Tuesday night.

Brooks of the RJC said the party was confident that the convention’s rollout of Romney, the family man, would help put him over the top come Election Day.

Voters “understand and get what’s at stake, they understand and get, they’re a lot more sophisticated than pundits give them credit for,” Brooks said at a press conference for Jewish media. “This well be a referendum on the job that the president is doing.”


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!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • 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.