I am concerned that remarks of mine quoted in James Besser’s article on Newt Gingrich and Jewish Republicans left an incomplete and therefore misleading impression (“Will Gingrich Bomb With Jewish Republicans?” May 13).
When I was asked how Jewish voters would assess a Gingrich candidacy, I mentioned one consideration that might hamper him — the perception that his rhetoric is too hard-edged and that he emphasizes social issues more than some Jewish voters may think is called for.
I also want to be clear that I believe Israel is a priority for Jewish voters, and I do expect it to be an issue in next year’s campaign. My only point in the discussion about a Gingrich candidacy was that the strong pro-Israel record of other GOP contenders might limit his ability to capitalize on his outstanding pro-Israel record in the Republican primary contest.
As a longtime friend and admirer of Newt Gingrich, I know that he is a formidable contender and would be a much more effective and reliable friend in the White House than its current occupant. Like the incumbent and all the other candidates, he faces challenges, but I think he has a strong case to make to the Jewish community and I regret if my remarks left any other impression.