Republicans in Washington to woo Jewish voters

By Jennifer Lipman, December 7, 2011
Republican candidate Rick Perry

Republican candidate Rick Perry

Republican candidates will be vying for the attention of Jewish voters at a panel session today.

Although the Democratic Party has traditionally enjoyed the backing of much of the Jewish community, the Republicans are hoping that disillusion with President Obama will help secure new voters next November.

Accordingly, most of the politicians hoping to secure the Republican nomination after primary season will be in Washington DC today for a forum sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The organisers sparked controversy earlier this week after they refused to allow Texas Congressman Ron Paul to take part. Mr Paul, who ran as a Libertarian candidate for the presidency in 1988 and was a Republican hopeful four years ago, has been vocal in calling for the US to cease foreign aid to Israel.

Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC, told the Washing ton Jewish Week that Mr P aul had been left out because "he's just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organisation."

He suggested that President Obama's stance towards Israel could help shift support to the Republicans.

He said: "You'll see some very strong, clear, unequivocal contrast between the vision of Republicans running and the current president as it relates to Israel, a turbulent Middle East and pushing back on the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons".

In the 2008 election, the Democratic Party secured the votes of about 78 per cent of the Jewish population.

Last updated: 2:47pm, December 7 2011