(JNS.org) During the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in New York, Romney noted what he perceives to be the current “distance” between the U.S. and Israel, among other foreign policy concerns.
“Look what’s happening in Syria, in Egypt, now in Libya. Consider the distance between ourselves and—and Israel, the president said that—that he was going to put daylight between us and Israel,” the Republican challenger said.
Obama—who took a more aggressive approach than he did in the first presidential debate and was deemed the second debate’s winner by a 46-39 percent margin, according to a CNN poll—did not directly respond to Romney on Israel.
Regarding the Sept. 11 murder of four American diplomats by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama stressed that he was “responsible” for what happened.
“I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened,” Obama said.
National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President and CEO David Harris reacted to the debate by stating that Obama “showed that he stands with the Jewish community on a wide range of issues from keeping America safe and fighting for economic justice to protecting a woman’s right to choose and supporting legislation like the DREAM Act.” Meanwhile, the “right-wing policies” of Romney and running mate Paul Ryan ticket “are exactly the opposite of the views of a vast majority of Jewish voters,” Harris said.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said Romney used “specific facts and examples” to highlight Obama’s “broken promises, inaction, and failed policies have ‘buried’ the middle class.”
“Gov. Romney put forward his plans for sound, principled policies that will protect the middle class, encourage job creation, increase American access to our continent’s rich energy resources, and grow the economy,” Brooks said in a statement.