Romney squeaker pleases local backers
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Romney squeaker pleases local backers

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Mitt Romney, shown campaigning with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in Clive, Iowa, on Jan. 2. Stephanie Greenland/ WEBN-TV via CreativeCommons

The day after the Iowa caucus, a local Jewish supporter of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pronounced himself “quite pleased in where we are.”

“It’s a narrow margin, but I don’t think that any one poll – besides from the one on Nov. 8, 2012 – is a conclusive indicator,” said Reuven Hahn of Cliffside Park.

Hahn, a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Syms School of Business who works in finance, said that Romney’s business approach appealed to him.

“My support for the governor stems from his decision-making process, his positions on the economy, his personal experience and successes, and clearly his position on Israel, which he has made clear,” said Hahn.

Hahn said he was first introduced to Romney by a colleague in 2007. That year, Hahn donated $1,000 to Romney’s unsuccessful primary campaign.

This year, Hahn has contributed the maximum $2,500 allowed by law, and is helping the candidate raise money in the finance community.

Hahn said that Romney’s support for Israel made a difference in his support.

“I was at a breakfast with him the day before he announced his candidacy, in a room of about 150 people. I’m going to assume the Jews were the minority. The governor’s message was focused on economics. But he also spoke about Israel three or four times, and that’s when I really took a much closer look at his message and his electability.”

Other Republican candidates have taken more hawkish lines on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrinch said the Palestinians were an “invented” people. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has said the west bank belongs to Israel.

Romney has been more circumspect.

That does not bother Hahn.

“What we need in office is someone who understands more than just politics, but someone who understands the complexity of the relationship with Israel that is a blend of policy and economics. I believe the governor has the combination of policy and business experience that could be a more effective friend of Israel. More than a friend – and ally and a partner.”

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