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May 3, 2012

Romney’s Bachmann Endorsement: “Yet Another Effort to Drive Jews Away”

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, Reproductive Rights, GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC- National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris issued the following statement in response to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accepting the endorsement of Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at a campaign event today in Virginia. Harris said:

“Michele Bachmann’s endorsement of Mitt Romney seems to be yet another effort by Romney to drive American Jews away from him in droves. On so many issues that matter to the vast majority of American Jews—including choice, protecting vital social safety net programs, and Obamacare—Bachmann is on the opposite side, to say the least. As Bachmann told ABC News previously, Romney was not extreme enough when it comes to repealing Obamacare—despite Romney’s declaration that he will ‘repeal Obamacare,’ and ‘stop it in its tracks on day one,’ and his pledge to end health care benefits for tens of millions of Americans.

“Bachmann has emerged over the past few years as a leader among the extremist Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, and today’s event is further evidence of her growing clout in the GOP, not to mention on the Romney campaign. Her endorsement of Romney’s candidacy—and her apparent change of heart regarding his conservative credentials—signifies that Romney continues to become more and more ‘severely conservative,’ as he drifts further and further away from the positions held by the American Jewish community.”

On a range of issues that resonate with the Jewish community, Bachmann is on the wrong side and extremely so:

* Bachmann champions the repeal of Obamacare [Politico, September 28, 2011]—and made attacks on the legislation one of her signature campaign points. [Politifact, June 13, 2011] [The Washington Post, June 19, 2011] [Think Progress, November 10, 2011] [Washington Examiner, January 4, 2012] American Jews, however, are broadly supportive of Obamacare, and support the Supreme Court’s upholding of its constitutionality—with many Jews polled listing its passage as one of the “most important accomplishments” of the Obama Administration. [2012 Jewish Values Survey, Public Religion Research Institute]

* Bachmann stands with right wing extremists against a woman’s right to choose. [NJDC, June 27, 2011 [NJDC, November 21, 2011] She went to great lengths to distinguish herself as the most anti-choice candidate in the 2012 GOP field. [NJDC, June 14, 2011] American Jews are perhaps the most pro-choice demographic group in America. [2012 Jewish Values Survey, Public Religion Research Institute]

* In February 2010, Bachmann told the Constitutional Coalition that “what we have to do is wean everybody else off [of Medicare and Social Security]... whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is.” [Think Progress, February 8, 2010]

* In 2004 she described same-sex marriage as an “earthquake issue,” claiming that “[same-sex marriage] is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in, at least, the last 30 years.” [“Prophetic Views Behind The News,” KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004] In the years following, she has made numerous cruel and false statements toward the LGBT community, even claiming that suicide among gay teens is due to “the fact of what they’re doing” rather than bullying and discrimination. [Rolling Stone, June 22, 2011] She also did not hesitate to sign an offensive, anti-gay pledge circulated by The Family Leader. [NJDC, July 8, 2011]

* Bachmann continually turns Israel into a partisan wedge issue [NJDC, June 27, 2011]—at the expense of the long-standing bipartisan consensus that has fueled support for Israel. Indeed, her views have come under severe scrutiny from pro-Israel journalists such as Jeffrey Goldberg. [Bloomberg, July 18, 2011]