President's comments on Israel fuel major campaign debate

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind reacts


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Welcome, everyone. I am Neil Cavuto.

And the Romney campaign very quick to seize on those remarks today, questioning when, exactly, Israel went from the closest ally America has in the region to now just one of the closest. By the way, not just the Romney folks.

Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says this makes the whole refusing to meet with Bibi Netanyahu, well, look like slight in a security resolution by comparison.

One of our closest.

DOV HIKIND (D), NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: Neil, it's incomprehensible.

First of all, the remark about noise. Israel is a country that is being threatened in its very existence. Iran says we going to wipe Israel off the map. This is not about some economic issue with regard to Israel. This is the very survival of the people of Israel.

And we, the Jewish people, you know we have a little experience with those who threaten to annihilate us. The last person, who threatened, sadly, did very well, murdering six million of our brothers and sisters. By the way, my mother was in Auschwitz. Her mother went straight to the gas chambers in 1944.

So, when you have a country that says we're going to annihilate this 'illegitimate state,' you have got to take it seriously.


CAVUTO: But Iran has never been on the list of friends in the region.

But I'm wondering then who are some of the other closest -- I was thinking maybe Saudi Arabia. We just scored an oil concession...


CAVUTO: But who else?

HIKIND: It's insulting. It's degrading. Other friends? Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, is that who he's talking about? Is he talking about Yemen? Who is the president talking about?

The president has no time to meet with the prime minister of Israel, but he has time to do everything else. It's time -- it seems that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not as enticing as Whoopi Goldberg or some of the other people that the president enjoys meeting with.

This is very hurtful. As a Democrat, this president is failing America. He is failing our friends. And I'm saying to my fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, please wake up. This is serious business.

CAVUTO: Well, maybe you should speak to fellow Jewish voters, right, because by a margin of seven out of 10, they invariably back Democrats. They invariably back this president. Why?

HIKIND: Well, we hope that that is going to change in this election. It's not about a majority of Jews supporting the Republican.

We need the 32 percent, 35 percent that Ronald Reagan got back in 1980. And I am very optimistic. I intend, personally, to travel to Florida and other places to do whatever I can. I don't work for anyone. I'm an American. I don't work for the Democrats or the Republicans.


CAVUTO: I understand, assemblyman. We got the great reaction last time you were here. But why doesn't that needle budge?

HIKIND: Well, I believe it's going to.

Look, it's – I'm wondering why the president is running a little bit ahead Romney in the polls. It doesn't make sense. That's why I'm saying to the American people, please wake up. This is serious business.

As far as Israel's concerned, I can only imagine what the president is saying to Michelle Obama in the White House. Boy, am I going to get Prime Minister Netanyahu if I get reelected. That's exactly what is going to happen. Barack Obama...


CAVUTO: You think the Israelis will have hell to pay?

HIKIND: There's no question about it.

The people of Israel are very concerned about Barack Obama getting reelected. Barack Obama is an ideologue with a view that is extreme left. We go back to the speech that he made at Cairo University back in 2009. He was going to change everything. He was going to endear himself to the Muslim world. What does that mean? He was going to push Israel away with one hand and bring everyone closer.

CAVUTO: So, real quickly then, what is your take then?


CAVUTO: If making overtures to Muslims doesn't work, versus the Bush policy of just saying you are just a piece of work, I will not make these overtures, and they still violently rise up, what are we to learn from this?

HIKIND: Neil, I'm telling you there is no question in my mind that the Jewish vote this time will be dramatically different from what it was four years ago, where the president got 78 percent of the vote. That will not happen again.

CAVUTO: Your prediction, what will it be? Your prediction is what?

HIKIND: Thirty-two percent minimum for the Republican.

CAVUTO: So it will drop 10 points for the president?

HIKIND: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: We shall see. Thank you.

HIKIND: Absolutely.

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