2012 RJC Republican Presidential Candidates Forum...1 of 9 >
Dec. 7, 2011--Six candidates pulled themselves away from their campaign efforts in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire to address the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  (Above) RJC national chairman David Flaum speaks at the event.  Rep. Ron Paul was the only top-tier candidate not to appear; he not invited to speak due to what organizers saw as his extremist and isolationist views.  (Herman Cain had been scheduled to speak, but he suspended his campaign a few days ago).  Each candidate spoke and then took questions from the audience. 

The RJC, which was founded in 1985, "seeks to foster and enhance ties between the American Jewish community and Republican decision makers."  Countering views of this forum came from the Democratic National Committee, whose chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stated, "[T]here is nothing, I mean nothing in the Republicans’ right wing social agenda that speaks to our community’s values." (+)   A blogger at the Arab American Institute described the event as "little more than a pandering session in front of a relatively small audience." (+)
The luncheon honored Ambassador Sam Fox, past national chairman of the RJC.
During the luncheon Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) delivered a sharp rejoinder to President Obama's much heralded speech the day before in Osawatomie, Kansas.  "He [Obama] has had every opportunity to 'up his game' for three years, and he has been on the bench," Christie said.  Christie also stated that he had no apologies for his recent comment that Obama has been "a bystander in the Oval Office."