Democrats restore God, Jerusalem to platform
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Under fire in the press, from Republicans and from within their own ranks, nervous Democrats on the convention floor voted late Wednesday afternoon for three amendments restoring to their platform an endorsement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a reference to God. Both items were missing from the original document that was approved earlier by the Platform Committee and the full convention.
“It was a stupid mistake (to omit), but we corrected it,” House Minority Whip Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Human Events shortly after addressing the convention this evening.
“Tragic” and “peculiar” is how Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan characterized the omissions of Jerusalem and God respectively. With numerous national news outlets (including Human Events) highlighting the omissions earlier Wednesday, a number of Democratic leaders grew upset and let their feelings be known. A few of them spoke to us about what was called in convention floor shorthand “the platform problem.”
“I was very critical of the original version,” Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) told us. “It didn’t reflect what is widely felt by Democrats. I let my feelings be known, and I felt it was important to clarify what have long been standing positions in our platform.”
The senator said he did not know why Jerusalem and God were omitted in the document that came out of the Platform Committee, but with their restoration, he said, “we can run a campaign based on the president’s record on job growth and inclusion and end the possibility of distraction.”
One of the first senators to endorse colleague Obama in 2008, Casey would not say whether he made his feelings known to the president. But, numerous sources in Charlotte said upon learning of the division over the platform and Republican anger, Mr. Obama insisted they be restored.
“My understanding is that the president asked that the platform be changed and the convention went along with this,” former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard told Human Events.
Many of the Democrats who made their pique known about the platform omissions were reluctant to discuss the controversy and wanted to move on. One of them, Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, said “it was important that (the changes in the language) of the platform occur. It’s the clearest, I think, that we have been so far on Jerusalem.”
As to why the Jerusalem language was omitted during the platform hearings, Levin replied: “I wasn’t there.”
When we asked if failure to restore that language and the reference to God would have hurt the Democrats with voters if not corrected, he simply replied: “I didn’t say that.”