According to a story making the rounds today, Mitt Romney is having a hard time raising money from Jewish voters because many of them think Michele Bachmann is Jewish, despite the fact that she talks about Jesus constantly. This makes sense because mistakenly sending money to Bachmann is exactly the kind of thing your charmingly befuddled Jewish grandmother would do! Except, it seems the story is BS.
The reporting on the New York Post article is rather sloppy, but that didn't stop numerous sources from picking up the story. According to the paper:
Some Jewish donors are telling fund-raisers for Romney, a Mormon, that while they like him, they'd rather open their wallets for the "Jewish candidate," who they don't realize is actually a Lutheran, The Post has learned.
"It's a real problem," one Romney fund-raiser said. "We're working very hard in the Jewish community because of Obama's Israel problem. This was surprising."
Romney has been courting Jewish donors (who apparently all hate Obama now) by emphasizing that he's a a "common-sense, business-minded candidate who is a strong supporter of Israel." However, "some in Romney's camp" now believe Bachmann is encouraging the Jewish rumor to bolster her fund-raising efforts.
When asked for comment, Doug Sachtleben, Bachmann's spokesman, said he hadn't heard the rumor — probably because it didn't exist until this morning. As the Washington Post notes, the Post piece is short and vague, and today Politico's Ben Smith Tweeted, "I haven't run into any Jewish donors who think Bachmann's Jewish, & NYP story doesn't name any. Great concept tho ... "
As Sachtleben suggests, if there's a reason people in the Jewish community are leaning toward Bachmann (aside from the fact that she's one of the most popular candidates among all Republican voters), it probably has something to do with her often stated "strong support of the nation of Israel." Bachmann spent the summer of 1974 on a kibbutz in Israel, and frequently mentions how much she enjoyed the experience. She's also declared that her family makes sure to see one movie or play about Judaism per year (but who's counting) and has said, "I am a Christian, but I consider my heritage Jewish, because it is the foundation, the roots of my faith as a Christian."
Despite what anonymous Romney sources say (or want the Post to print) there's little evidence that he has anyone to blame for his lack of success with Jewish voters but himself. Though we may doubt the judgement of anyone who writes a check to Bachmann, Jewish donors aren't fools, and they know the candidate doesn't share their faith.