TAMPA, Fla. — Republicans have a historic opportunity to win over Jewish voters this election because President Barack Obama has disappointed so many who backed him in 2008, the head of the Republican Jewish Convention told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
“All of the polls so far have shown that there is significant erosion of support for Barack Obama. He got 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 and I think he's going to get significantly less than that in 2012.,” said Matt Brooks, the group’s executive director.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“He's got a problem with Jewish voters because he's wrong on so many important issues. He's wrong as it relates to his policies with regard to Israel at a very, very critical point in time,” Brooks said on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
He said his group was devoting more than $6.5 million – “the largest campaign ever undertaken in the Jewish community” – to convincing Jewish voters to go Republican this election.
Brooks said the Jewish community, just like the rest of America, has suffered under Obama’s economic policies. “People who voted for him in 2008 have a lot of buyer’s remorse and they’re not going to be voting for him in 2012.”
He told Newsmax.TV that Obama has abandoned Israel. American Jews are outraged at Obama’s proposal that Israel return to its 1967 borders, with some land swaps, as a precondition for peace talks with the Palestinians.
“It really resonated in a very negative way with the Jewish community,” Brooks said.
He also said Obama has not done enough to prevent Iran, whose president has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“He wants to take credit for putting sanctions on Iran. The reality is that he was a critic of any kind of sanctions and opposed sanctions in Iran for a good chunk of the early years of his presidency,” Brooks said.
Obama only “grudgingly” imposed sanctions when the Senate forced his hand, Brooks said.
“This administration has sent mixed messages to the international community and the Iranians whether the military option is on the table, off the table. We have not provided a coherent strategy with regard to Iran and the Iranians understand that and are taking full advantage of the opportunity to accelerate their development of nuclear weapons,” he said.
Brooks added that while Obama has snubbed Israel, he has paid several visits to other Middle Eastern nations as president. Mitt Romney, Brooks said, has already made a point of visiting Israel.
“In the heat of the campaign at a very critical time for Israel, when Israel needs to know who its friends are and who has its back, Mitt Romney took time out of his campaign to go visit Israel,” he said.
“It sent a signal loud and clear to our allies around the world and especially in the Arab world that when Mitt Romney is elected he's not going to continue the failed policies of President Obama when it relates to the Middle East,” Brooks said.
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