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October 01, 1976 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-10-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 Friday, October 1, 1976

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

13ANI n

An Exclusive Intervi.ew With Jimmy Carter

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By TRUDE B. FELDMAN
(Special to the Jewish News)

PLAINS, Ga. — James
Earl "Jimmy" Carter —
who won more primaries
with fewer Jewish votes
than any other Democrat
seeking the Presidential
nomination — believes he
can attract enough
Jewish backing on elec-
tion day to restore the
tradition of overwhelm-
ingJewish support for the
Democratic candidate
that began with Franklin
D. Roosevelt in 1932.
Gov. Carter was candid
about reports of some
"uncertainty" among
voters of the Jewish faith
in an exclusive interview
in his home.
In a close election,
Jewish voters could prove
decisive, concentrated in
the states with the
largest number of elec-
toral votes: California,
New York, Pennsylvania,
Illinois, Ohio, __Michigan,
Massachusetts, Mary-
land, New -Jersey, Flori-
da.(Texas is the only state
in the national top 10 that
doesn't also rank among
the top 10 in terms of
Jewish population.)
And where little more
than half of all eligible
voters managed to get to
the polls four years ago, an
estimated 80 percent of
Jews did vote. A shift in
the habitual Jewish voting
behavior, such as took
place in 1972, could throw
some big states into the
Republican column.
Fdur years ago Richard

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Wish You A
Happy and Healthy New Year

Nixon cut into the huge populations,"-Carter said.
majority that Jews have
He added: "Hubert
given the Democratic Humphrey had long been
Presidential nominee for regarded as a man of coin-
more than a generation. passion for concerns and
One out of three Jewish issues which Jews particu-
voters cast ballots for Ni- larly care about. Henry
xon, twice as many as had Jackson had been in the
voted for him in 1968.
forefront of the struggle
President Ford, in a re- against a reluctant
cent interview, told me Nixon-Ford Administra-
that he can do at least as tion to strengthen the
well as Nixon. But Jimmy cause of Israel and Jews in
Carter doesn't agree.
the USSR. Jerry Brown
"Jews traditionally have had been elected the gov-
been concerned with the ernor of a state with a very
issues around which my large Jewish. population."
Carter also pointed out
campaign is built — the
concept of social justice, a that these were men
concern for human needs, whom Jewish voters
a recognition of the proper knew; whereas he was a
role of government in relative newcomer, corn-
helping meet social prob- ing from a state with a
lems and a deep sense of small Jewish 'population
respect for the dignity of (although it is active for
the human being, made as Jewish causes).
he is in the image of God. -
"I think it was only
Carter's reference to natural for Jewish voters
the Almighty led to my to identify with candi-
next question: Isn't there dates whom they had
a certain uneasiness on known and who had out-
the part of some Ameri- standing voting records
can Jews about your fre- on issues of concern to
quent references to the Jews," he said. "I am most
fact that you regard gratified that my posi-
yourself as a "Born- tions on both domestic
and international issues
again" Christian?
Carter's eyes grew se- have been so well re-
rious, and the laughter ceived since my campaign
around his mouth disap- began. And I believe this
peared, to be replaced by will be reflected in the
an earnestness of expres- balloting on election
sion that struck me as day. -
That is not to say that
both candid and thought-
Jimmy Carter believes
ful.
"I don't detect any such there is such a thing as a
uneasiness," he replied. Jewish 'bloc' vote.
"I don't think there is,"
"I believe most Ameri- -
cans regard religion as an he observed. "Nobody can
intensely personal mat- tell Jews whom to vote for,
or how to vote. Each per-
ter — as I do.
"A man's faith lies in son makes up his own
his relationship with his mind. But our party plat-
Maker: And a believing form is one that Jewish
man respects all relig- voters can rally around.
ions. There is nothing Any my own stance on the
political about it. I believe important issues of our
American Jews, being day has already evoked a
part of a religious com- most gratifying re-
munity, can understand sponse."
The famous Carter
and respect a political fi-
gure who is neither afraid smile returned as the
continued.
nor embarrassed to say candidate
"There is adeep belief
he believes in God."
Jimmy- - Carter's de- among Jews in the impor-
meanor became even tance of education, in the
more serious. He sounded integrity of the family,
the way he had earlier the closeness of parents
that day in conducting his to children, the responsi-
regular Sunday School bility we owe one another
class at Plain's Baptist in our own families and in
the human family," he
Church.
said. "And there is Israel,
"If we are all God's crea-
the Jewish homeland, an
tures — as I believe we are
object of prayer and
— then we have responsi-
yearning and hope and
bility to respect and love
struggle among the
each other, even if we are
Jewish people for nearly
of different races, ethnic
2,000 years . . ."
origin, or religious iden-
Carter noted that these
tification.
beliefs are shared by
"In my experience,
Democrats and that's
Jews understand this
why Jews have strongly
better than anyone, be-
identified with the Demo-
cause they have been
persecuted over the cen- cratic Pary and have
heavily voted for Demo-
turies for being 'different'
cratic candidates.
from the majority. So, - I
"On a personal level,"
am optimistic that Jewish
Carter continued, "these
voters will identify with a
are concerns that have
candidate who is bound to
a faith based on love of been part of my life.
"They are not issues that
one's fellow man and re-
suddenly become impor-
spect for his personal be-
tant because I'm running
liefs."
for President."
What about Jimmy
• (In a subsequent article.
Carter's poor showing
with Jewish voters in the Miss Feldman writes that
primaries?
Carter will hit strongly at
"My opponents were all the Ford Adminis-
men who had compiled tration's policies dealing
with Israel and the Mid-
outstanding records on
dle East. She quotes Car-
issues of special concern
to Jews or who came from- ter as saying that the
states with large Jewish• Ford Administration has

blown hot and cold about
our country's committ-
ment to Israel.
(Carter deplored the
lack of face-to-face
negotiations in the Mid-
dle East and stated that
Arab recognition of the
right of Israel to -exist is
the "essential element"
to an Arab-Israel settle-
ment. He added that the
strong links between the
Arab nations and the U.S.
should not be forged at
the expense of Israel,
and said, "I think a lot of
the so-called
ity' that the Ford Admin-
istration deplores in Is-
rael is the result of the
overly flexible Ford pol-
icy to Israel . .
(Carter also opposed
supplying strike weapons
to Egypt, Jordan or Saudi
Arabia, and said the Ford
Administration "in effect
has condoned the effort of
the Arab world to tell
American business that
in order to trade with
them we must observe re-
strictions based on race
or religion.")

Carter. Kin Aids
Local Candidate

gmily (Aunt Cissy)
Dovlin, aunt of Democrat-
ic Presidential nominee,
Jimmy Carter, attended a
cocktail breakfast in the
Bloomfield Hills home of
Mr. and Mrs. Spencer
Partrich on behalf of
Dorothea Becker, Demo-
cratic candidate for the
19th District seat.

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