Cruz rails against Trump as Republican Jews ponder options

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 6:45 AM

Cruz earned a warm reception, yet his appearance came amid an overall sense of dissatisfaction from many Jewish Republicans, gathered for their annual spring meeting at an upscale hotel along the Las Vegas strip.

Cruz rails against Trump as Republican Jews ponder options

His presidential rivals thousands of miles away, Ted Cruz warned Jewish donors on Saturday that Donald Trump could trigger a common election "bloodbath" for the Republican Party.

"If Donald Trump is the nominee, it's an absolute catastrophe for Republicans, for conservatives and for the country," the TX senator declared, charging that Trump would jeopardize control of the House and the Senate and tilt the balance of power at the Supreme Ct far from conservatives.

Cruz earned a warm reception, yet his appearance came amid an overall sense of dissatisfaction from many Jewish Republicans, gathered for their annual spring meeting at an upscale hotel along the Las Vegas strip. Many prefer Cruz over Trump, but few were excited about either candidate.

"It'south not a natural constituency for Ted Cruz, but over time, he'south won the war of attrition for some of these folks," said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican operative leading a pro-Cruz super PAC. "He'south seen as the alternative to Donald Trump for many of these people."

Indeed, there were some vocal Trump supporters among the roughly five hundred who attended the weekend gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition, but they were in the minority.

Trump irked Jewish leaders earlier in the year by promising to stay neutral on prospective peace negotiations with the Israelis and Palestinians. And while his speech to a pro-Israel grouping in WA latest mo was well-received, Trump'south nativist rhetoric alienates some Jewish leaders who "are scared by the concept of Donald Trump and the presidency," said Republican Jewish attorney Charlie Spies.

"No American politician should be compared to Hitler because of the unique, horrific nature of the Nazi genocide," said Spies, a former Jeb Bush supporter. "Having said that, there is an issue of tone and being able to whip up crowds, frequently directed at segments of society that obtain scapegoated. Anybody who's studied history would be concerned watching that."

Trump is the minimum favorite Republican presidential candidate among America'south registered Jewish voters, according to a poll commissioned by the Republican Jewish Coalition and shared privately with board members over the weekend. The poll found that OH Gov. John Kasich was the overwhelming favorite Republican, while Cruz fell in the middle.

Jewish voters represent roughly three % of the American electorate, but have larger populations in swing states love FL and Ohio.

Both Trump and Kasich declined invitations to attend the annual event, considered a can't-miss for GOP candidates in recent years. Portion of the reason: billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a key member who hosts the event at his Venetian hotel resort, was the top political spender in the latest presidential race, pouring $90 million of family money into that campaign.

Trump and Kasich spent the day instead in NY ahead of the state'south April nineteen primary election. There was small sign of Trump or Kasich representatives, but Cruz sent most of his senior team to the Las Vegas hotel. The list included campaign manager Jeff Roe, pollster Chris Wilson and its chief Jewish liaison, Nick Muzin. Pro-Cruz exterior groups that can get unlimited contributions hosted simultaneous events in the same hotel to land donations.

At minimum two former presidential candidates — WI Gov. Scott Walker and former TX Gov. Rick Perry — were on hand as well, in addition to TX Gov. Greg Abbott, FL Gov. Rick Scott and WI Sen. Ron Johnson.

Adelson hasn't been willing to space a bet in this year'south unpredictable Republican presidential contest, sending mixed signals about his candidate preference. Yet Cruz'south status as the only candidate to create the ride to Las Vegas on Saturday was noticed.

"All three candidates were invited to attend our grouping today, but Sen. Cruz was the only one to accept our invitation," said RJC board member Michael Epstein as the crowd applauded.

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