Apr 7, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump builds 2020 support with Republican Jewish Coalition

A man wears a Trump yarmulke prior to a speech by Trump during the Republican Jewish Coalition.

A man wears a Trump yarmulke at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting on April 6. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump tried to secure votes for his 2020 re-election bid at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting on Saturday, speaking to a largely supportive crowd that frequently chanted "4 more years" and displayed a united departure from the splintered view the group had of Trump in 2017.

The big picture: RJC board members, who are confident that 2020 is the cycle where Republicans can finally make real inroads with the Jewish vote, have planned a $10 million investment to garner Jewish support for Trump, Politico reports. But there is some doubt that Trump's bid with the RJC will pay off in 2020, despite his heightened rhetoric that "the Democrats hate Jewish people" and his status in the RJC as "the most pro-Israel president ever in history."

“This is not new. We’ve seen different iterations of this in previous elections either in midterm or presidential elections, and each time it’s kind of repackaged with a different narrative in an attempt by Republicans to chip away at the Jewish vote — and every time it fails."
— Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, in an interview with Politico

What we're watching: As Trump tries to build a stronger Jewish voting base, Republicans are using Israel to make political points. House GOP lawmakers attempted to halt a recently passed resolution to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen via an amendment that would have added language to oppose the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which promotes various forms of activism against Israel.

  • "They wanted to kill Israel. They wanted to destroy Israel," Trump said Saturday on the Iran Nuclear Deal, which the U.S. abandoned last year but is still adhered to by Iran.
  • The president said in a Mar-a-Lago speech to RNC donors last month that if he could run to be prime minister of Israel, he'd be at 98% in the polls.

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