LAS VEGAS –The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) wrapped up its spring meeting in this weekend on an enthusiastic note. Several presidential contenders, declared and potential, addressed the meeting in on-the-record sessions. Former President George W. Bush addressed the gala dinner Saturday, in a rare (and off the record) public appearance.
Among the contenders in attendance were Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rob Portman (OH), Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former New York Gov. George Pataki. Most of the other members of the field have addressed past meetings, notably Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Speaker of the House John Boehner also addressed the gathering, and many other members of Congress were present. The meeting was held, as per past tradition, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center at the Venetian hotel and casino, one of the Strip’s most popular destinations, which is owned by Republican patron and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson.
Perhaps the biggest achievement of the weekend was the sheer size of the group, which exceeded expectations by nearly 100% and nearly reached 800 attendees.
The conference is not a meeting of the RJC’s general membership, but rather of its leading donors, many of whom are also deeply involved in fundraising and campaigning in races across the nation.