You haven’t made it in presidential politics until you have at least one run-in with the organized Jewish community. The National Jewish Democratic Council takes a shot at Mitt Romney for launching his campaign at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
Ford was a notorious anti-Semite responsible for the distribution of 500,000 coplies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion prior to the Second World War.
“NJDC is deeply troubled by Governor Romney’s choice of locations to announce his Presidential campaign. Romney has been traveling the country talking about inclusiveness and understanding of people from all walks of life. Yet he chooses to kick his presidential campaign on the former estate of a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe. Mitt Romney’s embrace of Henry Ford and association of Ford’s legacy with his presidential campaign raises serious questions about either the sincerity of Romney’s words or his understanding of basic American history,” said Ira Forman, the executive director of the NJDC.
Romney was on generally good terms with members of the Jewish community in Massachusetts. While many local Jews differed from Romney on political grounds, I didn’t hear much anti-Romney talk on specific issues relating to Jews. The stakes, however, are higher in a presidential context. Romney will have to learn to deal with critiques such as this.
Interestingly, I see NJDC’s campaign as having the potential to move conservative and independent Jews away from Romney and towards John McCain or Rudy Giuliani — not towards Democrats.