Though Republican Mitt Romney's outreach to Jewish voters won't be easy, that's not reason he shouldn't try. Today, his campaign announced a new TV aimed squarely at President Obama for failing to visit Israel while president "and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as its capital."
Both points are sore spots for many Jewish voters who spoke to The Miami Herald last week, so at the least Romney's ad could depress their vote if it doesn't attract them to his candidacy.
Obama folks have noted that Presidents Bush and Nixon didn't visit Israel until their second terms and that Reagan never went. White House spokesman and one-time Florida campaign hand Josh Earnest also has called on Romney to clarify what he meant by saying "it's the view of this administration that the capital is something that should be determined in final status negotiations between the parties."
But Obama has some clarifying to do as well. In 2008, he said any peace accord with the Palestinians "must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with secure, recognized, defensible borders. And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.” Yet, last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to say what the Capital is.
The Romney campaign refuses to tell us which ads are running in Florida, so we usually don't post them on this Florida blog until it's on air here. That said, it's a safe bet that this "Cherished Relationship" spot is running in Florida, the only battleground state with enough of a Jewish population to make a difference in a presidential election. The ad also plays to Romney's biggest supporter, gambling czar Sheldon Adelson, who attended a Romney fundraiser in Jerusalem and has pledged $100 million to help him win the White House.
CNN notes that Romney's campaign has released another spot as well: "In the second commercial, 'It's Just Not Getting Better,' Romney's campaign focuses on the economy and blames the president for July's job numbers, which came out Friday and revealed an unemployment rate uptick - to 8.3%, from 8.2% last month - as households claimed they lost 195,000 jobs in July. However, the ad does not mention that the economy added 163,000 jobs, far more than in recent months."