((JEWISH REVIEW)) — Donald Trump’s victory party in New Hampshire featured a broadside against George Soros as he prepared for an almost certain rematch with Joe Biden in November.
The former president handily won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday after winning in Iowa last week, and has a commanding lead in national polls. The result punctured the hopes of his last remaining Republican rival, Nikki Haley, the favorite of establishment Jewish Republicans who are grateful to Trump for his pro-Israel policies but who are wary of now of his volatility and his affinity for extremists.
Some of that affinity was on display at the victory party last night. Trump shared the stage with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican who has come under repeated criticism from Jewish groups for associating with white nationalists and comparing public health restrictions and other policies to the Holocaust. Trump gave up the mic to Vivek Ramaswamy, an erstwhile rival who has called for an end to funding assistance to Israel and has embraced a string of conspiracy theories.
In his remarks, Ramaswamy invoked “ugly Democratic George Soros juniors” as the “ugly underbelly of American politics” — a reference to the Jewish billionaire liberal philanthropist who is often the focus of antisemitic theories.
Trump says he remains committed to Israel, and has promised to quickly end the Israel-Hamas war, but he has lost many — although not all — of the Jewish and pro-Israel advisers who shaped his presidential term. He has also made blunt his unhappiness with Jewish voters for continuing to overwhelmingly reject him.
Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, conceded the primary to Trump but said she was still in the race. But a path forward seemed slim: she is trailing Trump badly in the polls in South Carolina, the next primary state.
There are two major Jewish-led fundraisers for Haley scheduled next week, in New York and in Florida. A healthy sign for her would be that they are not canceled.
“This race is far from over, there are dozens of states left to go, and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina,” Haley said after congratulating Trump. “I’m a fighter and I’m scrappy and now I’m the last one standing next to Donald Trump.”
Trump could barely contain his fury with Haley. “Somebody ran up to the stage, all dressed up nicely,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Who the hell was the impostor that ran up on the stage before and claimed a victory?” Haley did not claim a victory.
Biden also won New Hampshire’s Democratic primary by a wide margin, a predictable outcome that was nonetheless extraordinary because Biden was not on the ballot. He won via an unofficial write-in campaign against his two Jewish would-be challengers — Rep. Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.
As the rematch ramps up, Trump, who faces a plethora of criminal charges and civil lawsuits, has promised “retribution” for the 2020 election, which he continues to falsely claim that he won. Biden’s campaign message is simple: “Democracy is on the ballot.”
Trump has promised mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, whom he describes in terms that, he acknowledged, sounded to some to be reminiscent of Adolf Hitler.
“They come from prisons and they come from mental institutions and it’s just killing our country,” he said of immigrants at his victory rally Tuesday night, a claim he has made multiple times without evidence. He has said he will be a “dictator” on his first day in office.
An added factor in the election is Israel’s war with and the divisions it has sowed among Democrats.
Biden has robustly backed Israel, although tensions are emerging between his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Progressives in the party are increasingly critical of Biden’s support for Israel. A speech Biden gave to a rally in northern Virginia on Tuesday was interrupted more than 10 times by pro-Palestinian hecklers, to Biden’s increasing annoyance.
Biden’s strategy has been to cast Trump as a danger to democracy, noting how Trump’s refusal to accept his 2020 defeat culminated in his urging forward of the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, that aimed to overturn the election.
“It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign after the New Hampshire results. “And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher. Our Democracy. Our personal freedoms — from the right to choose to the right to vote. Our economy — which has seen the strongest recovery in the world since COVID. All are at stake.”