It turns out that failed New York congressional candidate David Weprin and former NYC Mayor Ed Koch have more in common than many people thought.
Koch, 86, backed Republican Bob Turner in the special election to fill disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner’s old seat. Koch repeatedly said while campaigning with Turner he wanted to “send a message” to the White House on Israel.
Message received, apparently. Koch endorsed President Barack Obama today.
In an email sent to supporters and obtained by Politico, Koch says he is backing the president for recent moves regarding Israel.
“The president should be praised for intervening with the Egyptian army to save the Israeli diplomatic personnel from physical assault and providing the Israeli military with bunker buster bombs, advanced military technology and providing military intelligence cooperation far exceeding his predecessors,” Koch wrote. “I’m now on board the Obama Reelection Express.”
At Turner’s election party in Queens earlier this month, Koch told reporters the president had “thrown Israel under the bus,” and he had also suggested he would take his message to other places in the country with large Jewish populations such as South Florida. But it seems all is now well with Koch and the president.
The New York Times reported that Koch also cited being invited to a party the president and first lady held at the New York Public Library for United Nations delegates last week where he spoke with the president.
When Turner claimed victory over Weprin in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, both Turner and Koch said it was a referendum on Obama and that Jewish voters were upset at his call to return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
Koch’s backing of Turner apparently helped give the businessman with no previous political experience the momentum that led to his victory in the deep-blue district. No word yet on whether Koch will help Obama do the same, but it could help to end some of the chatter that Jewish Democrats are abandoning the president.
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports that a senior Obama campaign aide says, “We appreciate the Mayor’s support, look forward to working with him and welcome any help he’s able to offer as the campaign proceeds.”