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Pelosi and Cantor spar over Republican Jewish outreach

JTA

July 30, 2012 | 10:04 am

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Washington on June 29. Photo by REUTERS/William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Washington on June 29. Photo by REUTERS/William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that Republicans exploit Jewish voters for political gain.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an interview last Friday with the Bloomberg news service also said that many Republicans “are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy.” She also said that President Obama “has been a staunch supporter of Israel.”

Responding to the observation that the Republican Jewish supporters are active due to their support of Israel, Pelosi said “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.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the only Jewish Republican in Congress, on Sunday responded to the interview.

“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. “Such thinking diminishes the importance of issues affecting Jews everywhere.”

Cantor told the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” in a January interview that the Jewish tendency to vote Democratic has been the “bane of my existence.”

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