— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley
Real estate mogul Donald Trump was among the thirteen Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.
He was introduced as “a mensch with chutzpah.” Trump mentioned that his daughter and grandchildren are Jewish joking that the RJC only likes him because his daughter was Jewish and that made him mishpacha. He said having a Jewish daughter was great, except he can’t get her on the phone on Saturday.
While he asked for the Republican Jewish Council’s support, he did not ask for money as he is self-funding his campaign. The audience found Trump and the many jokes he told very humorous, but he did not say much of substance.
Trump said “Obama was the worst thing ever for Israel. Our negotiations with Iran was horrible and we did not bargain from strength.” He criticized Obama for being unwilling to use the term ‘radical Islam’. He argued that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to run, claiming that what she did with her emails was criminal.
Donald Trump has been a strong supporter of Israel. He told the story of how he was asked by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to do an election commercial for him. He said the commercial must have worked, since Bibi won. Trump called himself a great deal maker and thinks he can make a deal for peace. He would not commit to having a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This caused “boos” from the audience. However, Trump countered that “To do a deal, you do not reveal your cards up front.”
In conclusion, Trump was very charismatic, sharp and funny, but there was no there there. He only spoke in generalities without being specific.
Speeches by the other Republican presidential candidates is available in our full coverage of the RJC presidential forum.