Biden focuses on Israel, Middle East in speech to Jewish leaders

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ATLANTA —

Vice President Joe Biden spoketo Jewish leaders in Atlanta today.

Biden spoke to the Rabbinical Assembly’s annual convention at the Westin Hotel in Sandy Springs for 40 minutes Tuesday morning, primarily on the subject of Israel and the Middle East.

The group consists of 1,600 Conservative Rabbis.

The assembly said Biden was invited to speak because he has been a strong supporter of Israel for decades.

With his re-election campaign in full swing, Biden said he is very proud to serve the Obama administration, telling the crowd no one has done more for Israel's fiscal security in recent times than the president.

"I am more worried today about Israel than I have been any time in my career because it's a different struggle. The same old struggle exists, and we have to be vigilant," Biden said.

The Georgia Republican Party released a statement about Biden's visit to metro Atlanta, calling it, "Nothing more than an election year campaign appearance from campaigner-in-chief's top surrogate."

Biden arrived in Atlanta Monday night, and Channel 2’s cameras captured the vice president’s motorcade as he left a fundraiser at a private home in midtown.

Neighbors lined up along the streets to try to catch a glimpse.

“The neighborhood enjoyed having him. It was an honor,” a neighbor said.

Biden’s visit to Atlanta was only 10 days after President Barack Obama spoke at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast.

Emory political science professor Merle Black said he believes Obama and Biden are making a play for Georgia, but he does not think it will pay off.

"I think they may be looking at Georgia. They're probably polling, putting in various indicators to see whether or not they think they can put Georgia in play, but right now I don't really see it," Black said.

Channel 2's Lori Geary will have more on the reaction to Biden's speech on Channel 2 Action News beginning at 4 p.m.