(CNN) – Changes between the 2008 version of the Democratic Party platform and the document offered this week are both “peculiar” and “tragic,” Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said on Wednesday.
The Democrats' official platform, released late Monday, omits a clause from the party's 2008 document proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a subject of intense diplomatic scrutiny that Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney has put at the center of his position on the Jewish state.
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Ryan called that omission “tragic” Wednesday, saying it was one of the few areas of agreement four years ago between Democrats and Republicans.
“Our two party platforms were emphatic about Jerusalem being the capital,” Ryan said on Fox News.
“We had bipartisan agreement in our two party platforms on this very important issue for our strong ally Israel,” the Wisconsin lawmaker continued. “Now that the Obama administration has removed it from the Democratic Party platform, it undermines our nation's support for our ally, Israel.”
A spokesman for the DNC said Tuesday the official party platform was fully in line with governing policies used by presidents for the past four decades, and reflected President Barack Obama’s own stance on the capital of Israel.
"As the White House said several months ago, the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians – which we also said in the 2008 platform,” the spokesman said. “We will continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue as part of a two state solution that secures the future of Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland of the Jewish people."
American policy has long been intentionally vague on the status of Jerusalem. A U.S. law passed in 1995 designates Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and stipulates the American embassy should move to the city from Tel Aviv. The past three presidents, however, have signed waivers suspending the law, citing security and diplomatic concerns.
Democrats also omitted the word “God” from all parts of their platform, a decision Ryan called “peculiar” on Wednesday.
“It's not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision,” Ryan said. “But I guess you have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform. There sure is a lot of mention of government. I guess I would put the onus of the burden on them to answer why they did all the purges of God.”
In 2008, Democrats wrote, "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
The paragraph extolling the value of hard work in 2012 reads, "We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth-the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us."
Democrats did include a section in their 2012 platform specifically devoted to faith, writing faith "has always been a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history."
"There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith and country," the document reads.