(JTA) — Donald Trump told Jewish Republicans that he didn’t expect their support in his bid for the presidency.
“You’re not gonna support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel,” Trump said Thursday at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s candidates forum. “And I’ll be that. And I know why you’re not going to support me. You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. Isn’t it crazy?”
Introduced as a “mensch” with “chutzpah,” Trump, currently the Republican front-runner, touted his Jewish familial connections. His daughter Ivanka is Jewish, as are his grandchildren. Trump also touted his past support from the Jewish community.
“I have so many awards from Jewish groups,” Trump said.
Trump referred several times to his savvy as a businessman and negotiator, saying he would negotiate a better Iran deal (“It’s so easy”) and calling Secretary of State John Kerry “probably the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen.” He later called the American negotiating team on Iran “stupid.”
Appealing to the audience, Trump said, “This room negotiates deals. Perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to.”