Rep. Eric Cantor, the only member (and thus de facto dean) of the GOP’s Jewish congressional delegation, slammed House minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that the Republicans were exploiting Jewish supporters and using Israel as an “excuse” to promote an agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy.
"It is both patronizing and deeply insulting for Nancy Pelosi to suggest any Jew is ‘exploited’ for their political beliefs or that support for Israel is somehow an ‘excuse’ for anything," Cantor said in a statement issued Sunday. "Such thinking diminishes the importance of issues affecting Jews everywhere."
Pelosi made the (not entirely coherent) remarks to Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt. Here’s the relevant portion of the show’s transcript:
HUNT: Do you think he’ll [Obama] do as well with the Jewish vote this time as he did last time?
PELOSI: The election will tell us that.
HUNT: What do you think?
PELOSI: But I – I think that he will. I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.
HUNT: That’s why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really active.
PELOSI: Well, that’s how they’re being exploited. And they’re smart people. They follow these issues. But they have to know the facts. And the fact is that President Obama has been the strongest person in terms of sanctions on Iran, which is important to Israel. He’s been the strongest person on whether it’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling, any of these weapons systems and initiatives that relate to Israel. He has been there over and over again.