WASHINGTON — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump sought to shore-up his foreign policy credentials and win over skeptical Jewish voters Monday in remarks at a pro-Israel gathering here.
In a speech at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the New Yorker said his experience as a businessman makes him well-suited to stand up for Israel’s political and security interests at the United Nations and against Iran and the Palestinians.
“When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One,” said Trump, who promised to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “immediately” if he is elected president. “I have known him for many years, and we will be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region.”
Trump’s visit overshadowed many of the conference’s events Monday as he tried to walk back previous comments that he would remain a neutral broker in Israeli-Palestinian talks. He instead tried something new: speaking from a teleprompter and sticking to more cautious, largely prepared remarks.