*This post was originally created for a class in media writing and published on 6 Dec., 2015.
Many of the myriad of contenders seeking the backing of the GOP in the upcoming 2016 presidential election gathered on Thursday, Dec. 3, for a chance to court the interests and support of the Jewish Republican Coalition. Candidates Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump seemed to fare rather poorly, though for different reasons.
Both Trump and Carson have been lauded by some for being Washington outsiders; Carson is a retired neurosurgeon and former political commentator while Donald Trump is an entrepreneur whose net worth places him as America’s 121st richest person, according to Forbes.
Because of his political inexperience, the 64-year-old Carson is often charged with lacking an adequate knowledge and understanding of the fields of foreign policy, diplomacy, and international relations for a would-be president. The scripted speech he presented at the forum did little to disprove his critics. His repeated butchery of the pronunciation of the name of the Gaza-based militant organization Hamas, which he seems to have confused with the popular chickpea dish known as hummus, failed to impress his audience.
However, the Yale graduate arguably fared better than Donald Trump, who has maintained a strong lead in the GOP polls despite a number of controversies over his remarks about Hispanics and Muslims, and even openly mocking a disabled reporter. According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, Trump now carries 36% of the republican vote.
“You’re not gonna support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine. Five months ago I was with you,” Trump said.
To the visible discomfort of some of the attendees, Trump referenced money multiple times during his address to the Republican Jewish Coalition. The presidential hopeful also made mention of the persistent stereotype that Jews are talented and earnest negotiators.