Menu JTA Search

Robertson Foresees Strong Support from Jews in Presidential Bid

The Rev. Marion “Pat” Robertson, the television evangelist who probably will seek the Republican nomination for the Presidency, said Friday that he expects to have support in the Jewish community.

“I would anticipate, especially among Conservative and Orthodox Jews, I would have a tremendous body of support,” Robertson said at a National Press Club luncheon. “I’m counting on it from everything I’ve seen.”

His remarks were made in response to a question on whether he was seeking support among Jews and Catholics. He did not mention Catholics.

“I have been a supporter of Israel for years,” he said. “I have been over there something in the neighborhood of 15 times.”

Robertson noted that he has developed “a friendship with some key Jewish leaders in America,” particularly within the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the United Jewish Appeal.

He said that a leading Jewish supporter of President Reagan in California is expected to back his campaign. His staff would not reveal his name.

TWO JEWISH AIDES

Robertson said two of his key aides are Jewish — Ben Waldman, executive director of the pro-Republican National Jewish Coalition during the 1984 Presidential campaign, who now is in charge of the West for Robertson; and Richard Pinsky, who heads the effort in the Southeast.

Waldman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that no major effort has yet been made in the Jewish community, but that it would come in the later stages of the campaign next year when the primaries are held in such states as New York and California, which have large Jewish populations.

Robertson, who moderates the “700 Club” television program on the Christian Broadcasting Network, reiterated Friday that he will officially announce his candidacy on September 17 if by then he has accumulated three million names on a petition urging him to run.

He did not discuss church-state issues Friday, the area where he is expected to find the most opposition to his candidacy from the Jewish community. But he did note that he expected the appointment of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court, which he supports, would result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

NEXT STORY