The Republican Jewish Coalition did not invite presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to its candidates’ forum.
Sources close to the RJC leadership cited two reasons for not extending an invitation to Paul for the Oct. 16 forum to take place in Washington: There was time only for leading candidates; and Paul’s record of consistently voting against assistance to Israel and his criticisms of the pro-Israel lobby.
Paul’s supporters say he is opposed to foreign assistance in principle and note that he also has blasted the Saudi lobby for what he believes is its undue influence.
The RJC also did not invite Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), but only because of their long-shot status.
Candidates attending include former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Former Tenessee Sen. Fred Thompson; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas.) Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was invited, but was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
The National Jewish Democratic Council hosted the full range of its party’s candidates at a spring event, including Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), like Paul, a tough critic of Israel. The NJDC event, however, lasted two days, while the RJC’s is a single-day event.