September 6th, 2012
09:34 AM ET
2 years ago

Democrats struggle to explain Jerusalem, God omissions

(CNN) – A co-chairman of the committee charged with drafting the Democrats' official party platform said Thursday it was "unfortunate" that references to Jerusalem and God were initially omitted from this year's document, but could not explain events that led to that exclusion.

"It was an unfortunate omission," Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker said on CNN's "Starting Point," stressing that the discrepancies between this year's platform and 2008's – which did include language referring to God and Jerusalem – did not detract from President Barack Obama's core beliefs.

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"We have a president of the United States who believes both in God, and we know that, but also believes in that plank" on Jerusalem, Booker said.

On Wednesday Democrats amended their platform to include language referring to God and denoting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but the amendment took three voice votes before Antonio Villaraigosa, the chairman of the Democratic National Convention, was satisfied that two-thirds of the delegates had voted in the affirmative.

Observers in the convention hall were dubious as to whether the affirmative votes outweighed those in the negative, much less reached the two-thirds vote required.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Thursday that any voice vote among 6,000 delegates was bound to have some dissent.

"To have a small amount of objection in any essentially legislative process is sort of par for the course," she said, also on CNN's "Starting Point."

But she, like Booker, could not provide a firm explanation of how language referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was left out of the Democratic platform in the first place.

'It was a technical omission, and nothing more than that." Wasserman Schultz said, utilizing a term she also used Wednesday night in explaining the platform discrepancies. "There was not any - through the drafting process and the platform committee process, there was never any discussion or debate or commentary over adding or subtracting it."

Booker said he took some responsibility for the document as a leader of the platform committee, but added that the process was never perfect.

"Sometimes, as bad as it might seem, there are imperfections," he said. "There are mistakes made."

Pressed further on how the language was left out, Booker specified that there was no one person who removed the language from 2008 declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital.

"I am the co-chair of the platform. I was in the mix," he said. "This is not somebody that changed the platform. It was an omission and unfortunate."

Wasserman Schultz said the language was added back into the platform "because President Obama personally believes that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel, and felt that the platform needed to reflect his personal view as well as the language from the 2008 platform."

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said Thursday it "has always been the position of the Democratic Party, of the Democrats overwhelmingly, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."

"Why it wasn't in the platform, I don't know," Schumer continued, adding that he personally brought the omission to the attention of White House staffers when it was reported on Tuesday that the language was left out.

"I didn't know," Schumer said. "I don't read, to be honest with you, the whole huge document, but I know basically what our party stands for."

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. NotFooledByDistractions

    Hey, wait a minute, just last week, we were told that party platforms don't matter...now they do?

    September 6, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. g

    why is every american election about isreal –do they own it

    September 6, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    Say it, its because Demoncrats dont belive in God and want all indications or reference removed so they can control and direct and implement sharia law. Time to throw out these Non-God loving demoncrats.

    September 6, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. LIP

    Oh Oh, looks like Godgate has been exposed and all Democrats lining up at the pearly gates will have to take the elevator down to........................................

    September 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. g

    why is every american election about isreal –do they own it –thanks to the american tax payers they do have universal health care

    September 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    done for nothing but votes, can you people not see the truth behind obama and the demoncrats, they all need to be stopped.

    September 6, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Ohh, noo. So many distractions, so little time, eh, CNN? This is why I no longer watch political coverage pundit debates. Too much faux outrage ... too many pundits playing too many musical chair games with a country who actually has become immune to the theatrics.

    Shrugging my sholders. It's time the media steps up and becomes the adult in the room ... not the sand throwers. It's a ratings game. Nothing more, nothing less.

    September 6, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. proud conservative

    It was omitted because Obama wanted it that way. Only after this became news did the President change his mind to include God and Israel. What a phony!

    September 6, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. MiddleClassAmerican

    It was just an omission of God..., something we do everyday out here in middle America..., NOT!

    September 6, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Critical Thinking

    It wasn't an omission, it was a deletion. It was actively removed, taken out with intent. Stop trying to suggest that it was a , "oops we forgot"

    September 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Kerfluffle...emphasis on the fluff. If this is the best the MSM has in their never-ending attempts to manufacture a false equivalence narrative, then I say let them have their fun. This substanceless controversy is pretty lame really, particularly since it's so obvious that the MSM is desperatey trying to fabricate an "oh look, the DNC is messing up on things just like the RNC did last week" storyline. Nonsense. There's nothing equivalent here with Mittens' and Ryan's blatant lying or Clint Eastwood's bizarre and highly entertaining "senior moment," or everyone's favorite cringe-worthy moment of "this is how we feed the animals."

    It's like the MSM is a drooling toddler in a high-chair given an cookie: the oblivious little guy is completely incapable of differentiating between a cookie that is a cheap, bland, store-bought cookie (i.e., this kind of substanceless, made-up controversy) or a premium Double-Stuffed Oreo (i.e., GOPers running for POTUS and VP trying to get everyone to vote for them based on bigotry and blatant, demonstrable lies and a complete absence of policy specifics)...so cookie-crazed baby goes to town on that cookie with equal relish either way, and 90% of that cookie is ending up all over the mindless baby's giggling face no matter what you do, soooo you just have to sigh to yourself, let him have his fun, tucker himself out and then clean up the mess he made later.

    September 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Captain Awesome

    The democrats are upset because they got caught. Watching Debbie Wasserman Schultz squirm as she tried to explain this was just priceless. How can anyone taker her seriously? Half of the delegates voted NO on including God and Jerusalem in the platform. THIS is who they really are: Anti-God.
    Romney/Ryan 2012

    September 6, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Canuck

    Separation of chuch and state? I don't understand why Americans care about the designation of another country"s capital city?

    September 6, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. this spot taken

    "Nothing to see here...Move along"
    I'm suprised they didnt blame Bush. Oh, and it was a "technical oversight"....riiiiight.
    I like the fact that the 50% of the delegates to 1/2 of the major parties in this country booed, actually screamed/shouted against adding back the language of God and Jerusalem. This is a graphic example of how far this country has moved from the founding principles.
    We, fellow citizen/American, get what we deserve...and it wont be pretty unless we make some different choices.

    September 6, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. mc

    it was Obama changing the Dnc Platform to fit his beliefs. when it was not overlooked by the media and the RNC, they said it was a technical oversight that OBAMA himself corrected. Ever notice all their stories are like the lies you told as a kid?

    September 6, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Woman In California

    As a religious person, I must admit I find this offensive but I am glad they have corrected this matter and tried to do the right thing. It's too bad republicans will find this humorous and take it as red meat.

    September 6, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Jeff in Virginia

    Why is CNN making up a story where there is none? Perhaps they miss the point of a draft- it's where mistakes are found and corrected.

    September 6, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. DeeCee10000

    Villaraigosa: "Okay delegates, let's vote. . . .oops, that was the wrong way to vote, delegates. You were all supposed to say "yaye" not "naye" but I'll go ahead and pass it anyway since your opinion and votes aren't really that important to begin with".

    Elizabeth Warren: "The system is rigged!"

    Nooooooo really?

    September 6, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. infidelbob

    There is noway the Ayes outnumbered the Nays during that vote and it was dishonest to conclude they did by a 2 thirds majority.

    September 6, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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