Needled by GOP, Democrats hurriedly add God, Jerusalem back into platform
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS September 6, 2012 12:00AM
Updated: October 7, 2012 8:12AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Needled by Republicans, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their convention platform Wednesday to add a mention of God and declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after President Barack Obama intervened.
The embarrassing reversal was compounded by chaos and uncertainty on the convention floor. Three times Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman, called for a voice vote on the changes and each time the yes and no votes seemed to balance each other out. On the third attempt, Villaraigosa ruled the amendments were approved — triggering boos from many.
The episode exposed tensions on Israel within the party.
“There was no discussion. We didn’t even see it coming. We were blindsided by it,” said Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City, who questioned whether the convention had enough of a quorum to even amend the platform.
“The majority spoke last night,” said Angela Urrea, a delegate from Roy, Utah. “We shouldn’t be declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Campaign officials insisting on anonymity said Obama’s reaction to the omission of God from the platform was to wonder why it was removed in the first place.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman
Schultz (D-Fla.), the party chairman, said both the God and Jerusalem omissions were “essentially a technical oversight.” AP