Attacking the Straw [Poll] Man, Ron Paul

By Nathan Guttman

  • Print
  • Share Share
Texas Rep. Ron Paul

Jewish Democrats are sounding off alarms over the rising popularity that Republican libertarian Ron Paul is gaining within his party. Paul — that’s longtime representative from Texas Ron Paul, not his son Rand, a freshman senator from Kentucky — won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll last week, with 30% voting for him as the Republican they’d like to see nominated to run for president in 2012. He came in ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Two other leading potential candidates, former governors Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, did not attend the CPAC conference in Washington.

The National Jewish Democratic Council issued a statement blasting the choice of Paul and arguing that he has been at odds with the Jewish community on many key issues including aid to Israel.

Ron Paul has also accused the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC of pushing for the Iraq war.

“The results of the CPAC straw poll send a clear message: the Republican Party and the conservative movement continue to grow increasingly out of touch with the values of the American Jewish community,” argued NJDC’s president and CEO David Harris. Jewish Democrats have also taken issue with Paul’s son, Rand, who has spoken out against U.S. aid to Israel, ever since he joined the Senate last month.

But is there really room for fear that Republicans are turning their backs on support for Israel (or that the Paul family is taking over the party?)

Not necessarily, at least not if one looks at the new poll released Monday by The Israel Project. The poll shows that 56% of Republicans believe U.S. aid to Israel should continue while only 35% think America should stop supporting Israel financially. Democrats, on the other hand, are split on the issue, with 43% answering that they believe aid to Israel should be cut and 42% saying it should continue.

How significant is the CPAC poll, anyway? (According to the Times, fewer than 4,000 people voted.) Just take a look at the Republicans who won in previous years: In 2006 it was then-Senator George Allen of Virginia who shortly after lost his seat; in 2007 CPAC members put Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Sam Brownback in top places. None of them did very well in the primaries. In 2010 it was Ron Paul who came out at the top of the list, just like this year, making him a favorite of the CPAC crowd but not necessarily a leading force in the Republican Party.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel:
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.