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Romney talks Iran, economy with rabbis

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Mitt Romney discussed Iran, the economy and Medicare in a holiday call with rabbis and other Jewish leaders.

The 20-minute call on Sept. 20 was organized by the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign and reached about 3,000 people. Word went out through a number of Jewish listservs.

Romney did not directly mention President Obama in order not to compromise the nonprofit status of the rabbinical umbrellas that spread news of the call.

In the call, moderated by Tevi Troy, a top Jewish adviser to the candidate, Romney outlined his five-point plan for reviving the economy, which includes energy independence, tax reductions, enhancing education, reducing the deficit and improving trade relations with other countries.

He also reiterated his concerns about Iran, saying its suspected nuclear weapons program posed the greatest foreign threat to the United States, and that he would prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability — a distinction from Obama’s policy, which is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"Jews are like other Americans," Troy told JTA after the call. "Israel is important, but not the only issue."

Romney fielded two questions — about Iran and about Medicare.

Responding to the Medicare question, he said his plan would not affect Americans 55 and over and would offer greater choices to those under that age.

Romney wished the callers a sweet New Year.

Obama had a New Year’s call last week with 1,200 rabbis from all streams.

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