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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jewish Republicans target Obama in Fla



We're late posting this, but the Republican Jewish Coalition says it is blanketing Florida to deliver the state to Mitt Romney, kicking off the effort today and tomorrow. A Romney campaign officials said the group bused supporters from Miami-Dade and Broward counties to "greet" the president in West Palm Beach. They are seizing on the Democratic platform which initially did not declare Jerusalem the capital of Isreal.

“Jewish voters are disappointed with Barack Obama’s unprecedented pressure on Israel and his lack of leadership on economic issues,” said Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks. “They are feeling 'buyer's remorse' and are ready to hold Barack Obama accountable for his dismal record. Many, many people share that sense of disappointment and our highly-motivated grassroots volunteers in South Florida are getting that message out.”
The platform/Jerusalem flap came up in a reporters' gaggle today with White House spokesman Jay Carney and campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki:
Carney:.. The platform reflects the President's position that Jerusalem is and should be the capital of Israel.  It is also a case, as a matter of policy of the United States and of this administration -- and of every previous administration dating back to 1967 -- that the status of Jerusalem has to be decided by the parties as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.  That is a position that George W. Bush held, and that Bill Clinton held and their predecessors held.  And that is this President's position, as a matter of policy.
Q    Is there a risk, if you were to be publicly speaking as President about what's in the platform, of harming those negotiations?  Is that what you're saying?
MR. CARNEY:  No, I'm not saying that at all.  I'm saying that there is an administration policy -- I mean, if you were to ask him about this, this is obviously -- very clear what his policy has been and what his views are. 
But the issue of Jerusalem's status has been reserved for final status negotiations and recognized as such by administrations both Republican and Democratic in the past.  And it has to be that, because that's -- a comprehensive peace has to be achieved between the two parties, and Jerusalem and its status is obviously one of those issues that needs to be resolved.
Q    Explain how that works in terms of it's the policy of the administration and of the President to say it is the capital, and yet also it's something that still has to be worked out.
MR. CARNEY:  It's in the platform, which is where it's been in previous years, in previous presidential election years.  The President's personal view that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is also something he has said in the past.  But it is up to the parties to decide through final status negotiations what the complex or final disposition of Jerusalem will be.
And that has been the position of this administration, of President Bush's administration, of President Clinton's administration and of the administrations prior to those.  It is -- again, the way to a comprehensive peace is by bringing the parties together to resolve these issues.  And, obviously, Jerusalem is one of those. ...
Q    When the platform was being drafted, there was obviously a platform drafting committee that went through several steps that Governor Strickland was leading.  How did it get through all those different steps, given that as you said this is something the President believes without this language, without anyone noticing that this language was not in the platform?
MS. PSAKI:  Look, I can only speak to the President's role in this, which is that as soon as he learned of the language and the fact that it wasn't consistent with the 2008 platform, he directed his staff to change it.  And it shouldn't come -- if he had gone through with a fine-toothed comb every aspect and every page of the Democratic Platform Committee document, he would have been the first President probably in history to do that.


[Last modified: Sunday, September 9, 2012 5:22pm]


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