In an email to The Algemeiner, a spokeswoman for Bush touted the committee as the largest of its kind among competing candidates. The group’s formation was first reported back in August by Jewish Insider.
The so-called National Jewish Leadership Committee is led by former House Majority Leader Republican Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, and includes notables such as erstwhile U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.
While Bush’s campaign told The Algemeiner that it would appeal to U.S. Jews “because it offers something to all Americans,” a spokesperson also pledged a “restoration of alliances around the world, especially with the brave and democratic State of Israel,” which now appear to be strained over stark differences between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the latter leader’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Quotes published by the campaign from list members Cheryl Halpern and Scott Singer also primarily focused on Bush’s personality and fiscal policies, but Halpern expressed the hope that Bush might also serve as a “Shomer Yisrael” (“Guardian of Israel”), a moniker often claimed by New York’s senior Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, who crossed party lines to oppose the nuclear deal.
Bush has reportedly been met with skepticism from some major Jewish donors because of the inclusion of former Secretary of State James Baker in his inner circle. Baker is widely seen as a critic of Israel and spoke earlier this year at a convention for liberal Jewish group J Street, which is seen as an enemy of Israel by many Jewish Republicans. Baker is also reported to have said, “F— the Jews, they didn’t vote for us anyway” following the 1988 Bush-Dukakis race.
Bush led the Republican pack in polling earlier this year but recently ranked only 4th in aRealClearPolitics survey, which averages numbers from several news sources, behind political outsiders such as business people Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
The full list of members in Bush’s ‘National Jewish Leadership Committee’ are:
Eric Cantor, Chairman, Yitz Applbaum, Scott Arogeti, Harold Beznos, Joshua Bolten, David Carmen, Adam J. Chill, Renee Evans, Steve Friedman, David Gemunder, Sander Gerber, Ron Gidwitz, Doniel Ginsberg, Ken Goldberg, Sherry Goldberg, Adam Goldman, Al Goldstein, Michael J. Granoff, Yudi Gross, Reuven Hahn, Cheryl Halpern, William H. Heyman, David A. Javdan, Mark Kaplan, Autumn Karlinsky, Fred Karlinsky, Jeremy Katz, Joia Kazam, Joshua Kazam, Jay Kislak, Jonathan Kislak, Fara Klein, George Klein, Glenda Krongold, Ronald Krongold, S. Randy Lampert, Michael Lebovitz, Jay Lefkowitz, Leora Levy, Steven M. Levy, Ken Lipper, Jason Lyons, Ethan A. Marcovici, Bernie Marcus, Larry Medvinsky, David A. Metzner, Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Attorney General Sam Olens, Morgan Ortagus, Jeffrey Rosch, Thane Rosenbaum, Jason J. Rosenberg, David Schulman, Brian Schwartz, Betty Sembler, Brett Sembler, Ambassador Mel Sembler, Michael Sevi, Honorable Florence Shapiro, Ambassador Ned L. Siegel, Stephanie M. Siegel, Barry Silverman, Jeffrey Silverman, Councilman Scott Singer, Keith Sonderling, Gordon D. Sondland, Marc I. Stern, Jay Stieber, Eric Tanenblatt, Barry Volpert, Jonathan R. Weinberger, Alex Weiss, Anat Zeidman, Fred Zeidman and Jay Zeidman.