2nd Chance for Christie After Stumble on Israel

Sunday, 18 May 2014 03:54 PM

 

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Chris Christie is getting a second chance to impress Jewish leaders after a recent stumble that upset some of the GOP's most powerful donors.

The New Jersey governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate gives the keynote address Sunday at the Champions of Jewish Values International awards gala in New York.

Also expected to attend are Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey,  and major political donor Sheldon Adelson.

Christie was forced to apologize to Adelson after addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas just seven weeks ago.

At the time, Christie, a Catholic, said he was overwhelmed by displays of religious tolerance during a recent trip to Jerusalem.

"I took a helicopter ride from occupied territories across ... and just felt, personally, how extraordinary that was to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day," he said.

The comment about "occupied territories" drew sharp criticism from some in the audience. The Israeli government and by extension most of Israel's supporters in the U.S. don't consider the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be occupied territory.

After the speech, Christie met privately with Adelson to explain that he misspoke.

With a net worth estimated at nearly $40 billion, Adelson may be the Republican Party's most influential donor. He is known for his devotion to Israel, in addition to an aggressive American foreign policy.

Adelson donated more than $90 million to Republican candidates and their allies in the 2012 election.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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