President Obama's reelection campaign has sponsored ads on Facebook knocking the leading Republican candidates for saying foreign aid to Israel should start at zero.
The attempt to portray Obama as more supportive of Israel than the Republicans who want to replace him is the latest in a concerted Democratic effort to push back on the perceptions that Obama has been a weak friend to Israel and that Republicans could be gaining the upper hand among Jewish voters.
"Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich say they would start foreign aid to Israel at zero," the Facebook ad reads. "Reject their extreme plan now!"
Clicking the ad brings users to a page where they can add their name to a list of those joining "the call to reject the Romney-Perry-Gingrich plan."
As an effort to rein in federal spending, the three Republicans have called during debates for zeroing out foreign aid and then evaluating whether it is in the nation's interest to fund each nation. The policy ostensibly would affect Israel the same way as every other country, but Israel supporters argue U.S. support for its closest ally in the Middle East should be a given.
Romney immediately walked back his position, saying through a spokesman that he had only been referring to aid to Pakistan. And Perry not only reversed his previous statement but pledged to increase strategic aid to Israel if elected.