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    Largest Armenian group in U.S. formally extends support to Obama

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    25.10.2008 - 09:37 | Son Güncelleme:

    The largest Armenian group in the United States announced Thursday its backing for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, who earlier pledged to recognize the “genocide” claims.

    "Based on Sen. Obama's strong record in office, his bold statements as a candidate, and our judgment as to the types of policies he will pursue as president, we believe that an Obama-Biden administration would be far better positioned than a McCain-Palin one to reflect the views and values of the Armenian American community," Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, Chairman Ken Hachikian was quoted as saying by Turkish Daily News (TDN) on Saturday.

     

    Obama and his vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, are leading Republican contender Sen. John McCain and his vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, in U.S. polls only one-and-a-half weeks before the election Nov. 4.

     

    In a January statement Obama said he would "recognize the Armenian genocide" claims as president, and also expressed his backing for genocide resolutions pending in both chambers of Congress.

     

    One key element that led to the ANCA endorsement was "a written pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide as president, clearly spelling out his 'firmly held conviction that the Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable,'" the ANCA said in a statement.

     

    The ANCA also praised Biden, describing him as a "leading Senate advocate on Armenian American concerns."

     

    "For over three decades, vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden has been a voice of moral clarity on issues of concern to the Armenian American community," it said.

     

     

    ANCA CRITICAL OF MCCAIN

    "Sen. McCain has throughout his tenure in Congress largely opposed or been passively indifferent to a broad array of Armenian American issues. As recently as October of last year, Sen. McCain publicly opposed congressional recognition of the Armenian genocide," it said.

    "He voted against Sen. Bob Dole's Armenian genocide resolution in 1990. (Alaska) Governor Sarah Palin has no record on Armenian American concerns," the ANCA said.

     

    Nearly 1.5 million ethnic Armenians live in the United States. Although the number is not large, ethnic Armenians are known as motivated and focused voters, and in areas where large Armenian groups live, they can affect election results.

     

    California, New Jersey and Michigan are among such states. But Obama is expected to easily win in those states this year even without Armenian support.

     

    But some analysts believe that the Armenian vote was a key factor in Republican George W. Bush's victory in 2000 against Democrat Al Gore in a very closely contested race.

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