Ed Koch Says He Doesn’t “Trust” Obama on Israel

“I believe that he is going to win.”

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who moved from criticizing President Barack Obama’s Israel policy to campaigning for Obama after a White House charm offensive, suggested Sunday that he supports Obama primarily because he thinks the president will be re-elected.

Seth Wenig, File / AP

“I haven’t said trust Obama,” Koch told WABC Radio’s Aaron Klein. “I don’t believe in trusting politicians.”

“I believe that there are a whole host of issues I believe that I can change the president’s position,” Koch said. “And I believe that he is going to win whether I vote for him or not. I believe that he is going to win. So wouldn’t it be better that he wins changing his positions? I think so.”

Koch, a Democrat who campaigned in Florida for George W. Bush in 2004, won a personal audience with the president last fall, and later said he’d been persuaded that Obama would take a hard enough line on Iran.

Koch said Sunday he would prefer a much harder line, however:

“We should say that an attack upon Israel is an attack upon the United States and that we will militarily respond,” he said, quoting Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. “That is a very key statement in my judgment.”

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