Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann may not be Jewish—despite a misperception among some political donors—but that didn’t stop her from making a campaign stop at a Broadway office building for a small, private sit-down with Orthodox Jewish leaders.
Bachmann spent about an hour discussing issues ranging from same-sex marriage to security for the Jewish state. She reminded the group she worked on a kibbutz in Israel 40 years ago.
“She introduced herself,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel. “A similar group has gotten together with Governor Romney and will get together with other candidates as well.”
Bachmann, an evangelical Christian, offered brief opening remarks yesterday and then took questions. She portrayed herself as “a person of faith,” Zwiebel said, but he added that “cuts both ways” for Jewish voters because of his community’s strong belief in the need for religion and government to be separate.
The timing of yesterday’s session had nothing to do with Bachmann’s comments on the earthquake and hurricane that hit the East Coast in the last week, Zwiebel said.
During events in Florida, Bachmann suggested God was issuing a wakeup call for the federal government to curtail spending. Following some controversy, Bachmann’s campaign said the remarks were made in “jest.”