Ed Koch said electing a Republican to the predominately Democratic and Jewish congressional seat vacated by Anthony Weiner would send “a shot across the bow” of President Obama, whose policies on Israel and Medicaid have angered the former mayor.
Koch, a Democrat who served three terms, said he’s not going to endorse the Democrat David Weprin. “I don’t have to endorse everybody,” said Koch, who then explained how Republican Bob Turner could get the former mayor’s support.
Take a more supportive position on Israel than Obama.
Then, “repudiate the national Republican position on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, which he will have to do if he wants to win,” said Koch. “If he does that, and I were living in that district, I would vote for him.”
If Turner doesn’t take these positions, “then I’m just going to stay out of the whole race,” said Koch.
When I asked if there was any chance he’d endorse the Democratic candidate, Koch said, “No.” Why?
“I don’t have to endorse everybody,” he said. “If the Democrat wins, that doesn’t send a message.”
Koch said the chance to send this kind of message to Obama is “extraordinary, it rarely ever happens,” and equated it to the national shockwave after Massachusetts elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to the Senate seat held by the liberal lion, Democrat Ted Kennedy.
“No matter what you do to the Jewish community, they’re going to vote Democratic, is the belief in Washington,” the former mayor lamented.
Koch said electing a Democrat won’t get Obama to alter his policies. “That Democrat isn’t going to persuade Obama,” he said. “So, if you want to send him a message, you better not [vote Democratic].”
If the race is going to hinge on Israel — something that is unclear, given the weak economy — Democrats do have a formidable spokesman in Weprin.