On Monday the remaining Republican candidates for president gave speeches at AIPAC which was held in the Verizon Center in DC. Here’s my take on the speeches.
Governor Kasich began the speeches with a received address. It was well delivered speech filled with policy and specifics goals for his administration in regards relations with Israel. A very earnest speech, he highlighted some of the dangers of living in Israel and emphasized his promise to stand behind and beside Israel. He also used his speech to demonstrate the tie between his Christian faith and Jewish interests. A couple things should be noted. One, supporters of AIPAC and Evangelicals are a voting block that Republicans often court, Kasich did a fantastic job courting them if in fact that was his intention. Two, Kasich made no mention of the Iran deal nor did he push for a movement of the US. Embassy as his counterparts would later in the evening. In the conclusion of his speech he referenced a Jewish tradition of thinking of more than oneself which sums up not not only his speech but his campaign. Finishing with a challenge to both parties to put aside partisanship, focus on improving the country, and continue to nurture our relationship with Israel.While I thought the speech was strong, stirring, and motivational, I was also a little sad. Sad because this is the Kasich that should’ve been out campaigning from the beginning. So in summary, fantastic speech but I wish we had this Kasich earlier in the campaign season.
Trump “I didn’t come here to pander.” Well I’m not sure he accomplished that but he did give one heck of speech! One loaded with details which is something i can’t say I’ve heard much of from him. He spoke very clearly about dismantling the disastrous Iran Deal outlining a Three Point Plan. Point One, stand up to Iran for trying to destabilize the region. Point Two, disband Iran’s global terror network. Point Three, enforce the terms of the previous deal(he didn’t specify which previous deal he was referring to). He accused the Obama administration of giving away $150 billion to the Iranians and not being open to Israel. He also took a hard line against the U.N. saying that the U.N. is not a friend to Israel and that he would veto any deal that they proposed that was against Israels best interests. He also said that any agreement imposed by the U.N. would be a total disaster. The toughest line delivered in my opinion was his comment that, “the days of treating Israel like a second class citizen will end.” He also said that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Senator Cruz Cruz opened up his speech with a zinger aimed at Trump, “this may come as a surprise to Trump but Palestine, as a state has not existed since 1948.” He also took a lighthearted jab at Lindsey Graham saying that the fundraiser held by Senator Graham is a sign that, “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can still work miracles.” He took his time highlighting his record citing bills and resolutions passed as a sign of strong support for Israel. He also cited his leadership in lifting the ban on flights to Israel. His extensive knowledge of politics and his work in the Senate made his points not only convincing but credible. Cruz took hard lines between himself, Trump, and Clinton highlighting their major differences and his stance on not being neutral on issues with Israel and Palestine. He also stated that under no terms will Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons saying if they will not shut it down, “we will shut it done for you”. Also seconded Trump by stating his support for moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. He also promised to personally fly to New York to veto any U.N. resolution that is against Israeli interests. Cruz also used personal history to highlight that both America and Israel are a beacon of light to those who have suffered persecution.
I found Trump’s speech the most interesting because I finally saw a little of the charm the his close friends and confidants talk about so often. His jokes were legitimately funny and even though I can’t say I believed everything he said I did enjoy the charismatic nature of his speech. Kasich’s speech was the more balanced and positive of the speeches. Of the three the goals outlaid seemed the most achievable. Of the three Cruz’s speech disturbed me most. How he plans on achieving the things he said are beyond me. He expressed a type of “hawkishness” that I haven’t heard from him before at least not at that level. Forcing people to fall in line with your plans for the Middle East? How is that going to help rehabilitate our image to the rest of the world? Anyway, that’s my two cents.