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October 4, 2012 8:25 pm

Jewish Dems, GOPers React to First Presidential Debate

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Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at the first presidential debate Oct. 3 in Denver. Photo: Screenshot.

Jewish Republicans reacted to the Oct. 3 presidential debate in Denver by touting the aggressive performance of challenger Mitt Romney, while Jewish Democrats criticized what they called myths promoted by the former Massachusetts governor.

Following the first of what will be three debates between Romney and President Barack Obama, 67 percent of registered voters surveyed in a CNN/ORC snap poll said Romney won the debate, and 25 percent said Obama won. The debate centered on the economy and health care.

Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement that Romney was “in command of the facts” and “secure in his principles” during the debate.

“Romney made his case effectively on taxes, jobs, protecting the middle class, and health care,” Brooks said. “But he also gave voice to the enduring values of America, showed how far we have strayed from them under the Obama administration, and pledged to turn America back onto the path of economic growth and opportunity for all.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), however, said Romney “used the night to continue peddling Republican policies—including on health care and other important domestic issues—that most Jewish voters simply do not support.” NJDC disputed Romney’s statements that Obama is cutting $716 billion from Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and that Obamacare adds to existing health care costs per family.

Regarding Romney’s comment that he is “not going to cut education funding,” NJDC noted that the proposed budget of his running mate—Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan—”calls for a $115 billion cut to the Department of Education.

While RJC’s Brooks said Romney “took control” of the debate and “won it handily on both substance and style,” NJDC’s statement did not explicitly claim a debate victory for Obama. Both organizations’ statements evaluated Romney’s debate, rather than Obama’s.

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  • N Rousso

    It is painful to see our President bowing to Saudi Arabia leader and apologizing around the world for the USA. More painful is to see how such a large percent of Jews will vote for a man who will surely harm this country and Israel.

    I am jewish and know that Christians and Mormons want the best for this country and Israel. They may wish to convert us but will not kill us if we reuse. Islam is growing stronger and their text directs them to kill us.

  • A Trondel

    Greetings Mr. Hersch,

    I am not Jewish (I am also not Mormon) but I am an avid supporter of Israel and consider them the United States’ closest, and perhaps only, true ally in the Middle East. I can attest to you that this is the opinion of the vast majority of Republicans and appears to be becoming less and less the view of the liberal Democrats you seem to support.

    While I certainly respect your right to vote for whomever you wish, it baffles me every time I hear an individual of Jewish heritage deride the conservatives and support candidates on the left. In your write-up, you speak as though Mr. Romney (like all Mormons in your view) is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and an opponent of Jews. Implicit in your statement is that his opponent, President Obama is, therefore, the best choice for a Jewish voter.

    Obama has seemingly forever been, at the very least, sympathetic to (if not right out supportive of) those who are sworn enemies of Israel. His most recent church affiliation under Reverend Jeremiah Wright is known for anti-Semitic views. Please enlighten me as to why such a large number of Jewish voters would support such a candidate.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Jerry Hersch

    More I think about the debate the more I think of Mormon door-to-doorers..Invite them in sometimes a lot of bait and switch..sounds good though.
    The press was praising Romney for discussing his Mormon religion..which he really didn’t do–he discussed teaching Sunday school..viviting the sick..things common to every religion on earth..he never discussed Mormonism..this slipped totally by the pre
    ss and the masses looking for the feel of it.He never discussed the Book of Mormon and its departure from both Old and New Testament – the bone of total contention between Mormons and every other Christian group.
    He looked good sounded good..but as my son Keith long ago taught me if the preacher doesnt have the message..he is quite adept at using smoke and mirrors.. bait and switch..Its the image and the music..sing Hallelujah and pay the buck.
    Romney sounded good ..”bright eyed and bushy tailed” alert like a squirrel after nuts.
    But he is head of a Party that has for a year has tried to put Christianity into our secular democracy.Candidates vying as to which of them is more Christian..Things I have not heard in 60years –60 years of Jews fighting for equality.
    Now his party is trying to put a Christian ‘slant’ on textbooks across the South.
    Perahaps it is that I can remember in Republican Pennsylvania..(it was then..and in many parts still is) of having my head pushed down to the desk when I didn’t say the Lords Prayer in a public school.