Romney names Jewish Americans campaign group

Following his recent visit to Israel, Mitt Romney launched the “Jewish Americans for Romney” coalition and continued to defend his reference to culture to explain the economic disparity between Israelis and Palestinians.

The coalition announcement July 31 listed as campaign co-chairs Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader in the House of Representatives; former Sens. Rudy Boschwitz and Norm Coleman of Minnesota; former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle; and Adam Hasner, who is running for a House seat in Florida.

In a separate release, Romney continued to defend his comment made July 29 in Jerusalem that culture is a reason why Israel is more prosperous than the Palestinian areas. Palestinians slammed Romney’s remarks as racist and as willfully ignoring the limitations imposed upon them by Israel’s occupation.

“Like the United States, the state of Israel has a culture that is based upon individual freedom and the rule of law,” Romney said in the release.

“It is a democracy that has embraced liberty, both political and economic. This embrace has created conditions that have enabled innovators and entrepreneurs to make the desert bloom.” — jta