Cantor, rising GOP star, seeks Jewish vote

Sept. 2, 2004 at 11:58 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- More than 1,000 people jammed the tony Plaza Hotel in advance of a speech by U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the House's lone Jewish Republican, Roll Call reports.

Cantor, R-Va., is considered by many to be a rising GOP star.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Cantor praised Israel, criticized Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and predicted, to wild applause, four more years for George W. Bush.

"We have moved away from sort of a generational attachment to the Democrat party," Cantor told a reporter, citing lower taxes and economic prosperity as issues that move "the votes of the younger Jewish electorate."

Democrats argue the American Jewish community remains firmly in their camp, despite what Cantor says. They point to a July Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research study for two Democratic groups that showed likely Jewish voters preferring Kerry over Bush, 75 percent to 22 percent.

"That's a partisan poll," Cantor said. "Take it for what it's worth. Really, they wouldn't be taking a poll if they weren't afraid of losing support."

Cantor and other Republicans active in the Jewish community say the GOP record on crucial issues like Israel and terrorism, coupled with a strong pro-economic growth message, will help the GOP win more votes.

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