ANCA Withholds Support For Presidential Candidates

President Obama and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney

WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) announced today that neither President Barack Obama (D) nor former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) has earned the Armenian American community’s formal backing heading into the November 6 presidential election.

“Neither Barack Obama, who turned his back on the multiple promises he made on Armenian American issues, nor Mitt Romney, who as a former Governor of Massachusetts, has no evident public record on issues of special concern to our community, has earned the support of Armenian American voters,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian.  “At the level of our Executive Branch of government, despite substantial progress in Congress, among state governments, within the media, and across so much of American civil society, our country’s federal policies on Armenian American issues, sadly, remains hostage to the dictates of foreign officials, in Ankara and Baku.  While we remain open to constructive engagement with both campaigns, we have no plans at this time to issue an ANCA endorsement this Presidential election cycle.”

The ANCA holds that neither Presidential candidate has earned the formal support of the Armenian American community, and, as such, presently has no plans to issue a 2012 endorsement in the race for the White House.  At the same time, the ANCA remains ready and eager to represent the Armenian American views and values to the winner this November, and to continue to assertively engage with the White House, National Security Council, State Department, and all other foreign policy stakeholders and press for progress on the full range of issues on the ANCA advocacy agenda.

President Obama came into office, having earned the ANCA’s 2008 endorsement and broad-based support among Armenian American voters through his track record in the U.S. Senate and his repeated pledges to recognize the Armenian Genocide and to work for a range of other issues of special concern to Armenian Americans, among them a self-determination driven solution to Nagorno Karabakh, and a commitment to remain actively engaged with Armenian American leaders.

Once in office, President Obama’s Armenian Genocide pledge – explicitly, repeatedly, and unambiguously stated – were quickly betrayed, a reversal dramatically compounded, within his first 90 days in office, by his Administration’s arm-twisting of Yerevan into a pre-April 24th Road Map and subsequent Protocols project designed to give him political cover for breaching this covenant with American voters.  Among the most notable examples of his betrayed pledge were his Administration’s opposition to Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unchallenged statement dismissing the Armenian Genocide as a matter for historical debate.  The President first signaled that he would break his pledge during a March 2009 speech in the Turkish Parliament during which he chose not to use the term Armenian Genocide in calling upon Turkey to address its past, but did note that his “personal” views in support of Armenian Genocide recognition remained unchanged.

The President fell short of his promises in other areas as well. He did not, as promised, seek “a lasting settlement for Nagorno-Karabakh based upon America’s founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination,” instead choosing to use his recess appointment power to send Matthew Bryza, a pro-Baku biased diplomat with conflict-of-interest issues, as the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan.  In addition, during his four years in office, despite his promise to maintain aid, President Obama sought to cut assistance to Armenia. Although he committed, as a candidate, to foster increased trade with Armenia, he failed to take any meaningful steps to increase bilateral commerce.  Compounding all these policy reversals was his failure to honor his pledge to remain actively engaged with the Armenian American community.  Not once during his four years in office did he meet with Armenian American leaders.

The Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, home to one of the nation’s oldest and most vibrant Armenian American communities, has no evident public record on Armenian issues from his four-year tenure as Governor or his two campaigns for the White House.  He has also not reached out, in any meaningful way, to meet or consult with the Armenian American community’s leadership.

To date, neither Governor Romney nor President Obama has responded to repeated ANCA written requests that they reach out to Armenian American voters by outlining their views on issues of special concern to a politically active community spread out across a number of pivotal swing states.  The ANCA has repeatedly reached out to both candidates, inviting them to meet with Armenian American leaders and publicly address the concerns of this politically active electoral constituency.

Last week, two of the leading Greek and Armenian American advocacy organizations, representing nearly five million citizens from across the United States, jointly called upon President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to end their silence on Armenian and Greek issues and outline their views:  “As two of the leading Greek and Armenian American advocacy organizations, we join together today in calling upon President Obama and Governor Romney to publicly present the specific principles, priorities, and policies that would guide their Administration’s actions on issues of special concern to our nation’s nearly 5 million citizens of Greek and Armenian heritage,” said American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis and Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

The ANCA, in the coming days, will issue a full array of Congressional endorsements, accompanied by a detailed ANCA Legislative Report Card for every incumbent member of the U.S. House and Senate.  Each federal legislator is assigned an ANCA Grade that reflects his or her support for a broad range of Armenian American concerns.

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36 Comments

  1. Jack said:

    So why with the HyeVotes program when neither of these people serves the Armenian American community?

  2. Hatsakorzian said:

    Great choice ignore them they’ll come to u if not it’s their choice Both of them they don’t give a monkeys about Armenian’s and vice versa… actually

  3. Hovik said:

    I will vote for Mr. Romney just to show my disagreement for Obama re-election, because of his fake promises.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    I dont trust obummer,he is from Illinois,thats enough.I am also neutral about rummie.The best president was Harry Truman.

    • Captain said:

      Please read our American “history” Books! Do you really know Harry Truman?

  5. Bill Paparian said:

    I applaud this decision of the ANCA to withhold support from Obama because of his great betrayal and Romney who has no record of support for us. Thank you!

  6. AraK said:

    Even if they promise a thing nothing will happen after the elections. They will be struck by amnesia as usual. It happened so many times before…
    At least for once they are honest, they are not promising anything!

  7. Hovhannes Boghosian said:

    Both are the same candidate. ANCA should look to support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the only candidate who protects civil liberties and doesn’t want foreign intervention and more wars.

  8. Kevork said:

    Never would I have imagined that this is the best the USA can do… one has no clue where he is or what he’s doing and just waiting for an awesome retirement package, and the other is besides himself with warmongering rhetoric, and blind support for extremism and foreign interests.

    Seriously, this is the best America can do?

    Yes? Then the USA has no business dictating to countries it does not like, like Syria and Iran that their “governments must step down” – because first and foremost the government of the USA has degenerated into a circus of clowns.

  9. Khachkarian said:

    Has the ANCA attempted to reach Romney through his running mate? Paul Ryan is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and has a stellar voting record on the Armenian Genocide recognition bills. Perhaps Ryan would consent to pressure Romney on this matter and secure some kind of commitment from the nominee himself. Is it too late, or is it just that Romney appears too woefully ignorant of history and foreign affairs to even bother?

  10. John said:

    To be fair I would rather be going with Romney who has not promised anything, I don’t expect him to do much for the armenian cause but at least he did not lie like Obama to get votes.

  11. american said:

    good call. even if ANCA felt that endorsing other party candidates wasn’t a realistic option, they should have at least explored whether any such candidates would have been worthy to endorse assuming a more open democratic process. otherwise they are silent in a political regime that refuses to consider their desires.
    for all the intensely focused competition between the two candidates, both of them refuse to do anything to court 5 million voters, because doing so would come into conflict with their geopolitical alliance with turkey and azerbaijan. obama of course having his previous words come to nothing, he would need solid commitments made believable by current actions, and romney would need equivalent specifics. turks aren’t a signifigant electoral factor in the US. but democracy can’t conflict with sleazy deals with regional military powers half way across the world from the US.

  12. Pingback: LA COMUNIDAD ARMENIA EN ESTADOS UNIDOS SE CANSO DE LAS MENTIRAS | Rey de reyes -Tigran el grande

  13. ALAHAIDOYAN, Bedros said:

    CHDESNEL OOZOGHEN AVELI GOOYR YEV CHLSEL OUZOGHEN AVELI KHOOL : PRES. OBAMA

  14. Padova said:

    It seems that Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are not much into Armenian American or Greek American interests. I guess, this time, we have to go and vote either Libertarian or American Independent. What say you?

  15. steve said:

    ANCA should come together, to form ORTHODOX power in AMERICA
    like the JEWS only then AMERICAN PRESITENT wil thing twise 5 million not enaugh but 15 million wil make big impect

    • hrair said:

      Good Idea, No, great idea, we need to expend our horizons and network with people and causes close to our interests.
      It is not hard to see that we do have common interests and many times visions with other Orthodox nations, like Greeks, Serbs, and Russians, Ukrainians, and so on so forth. Often we are faced with similar challenges too.
      Unity is power. We have to learn to let go, expand and branch out, we have to learn to give up narrow community limited power to gain greater power.
      Great thinking Steve Jan.
      ANC please pay attention to this approach, this could be the future.

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      I’m all for it. In fact, what we need to do is an outreach to the Orthodox communities and tell them about Armenia and Artsakh. A good time for it has just passed on September 30 when the Orthodox churches of the world celebrated St. Gregory the Armenian Day. That means we have 11 months to prepare for 2013 events. Orthodox Christmas on January 7 could be a trial time. Artsakh has an Orthodox Church that needs to be rebuilt.

      On the other hand, I thought ANCA was leaning more towards Catholics…

      Anyway, Catholics and their Protestant offshoots are extremely anti-Orthodox. And the Armenian Apostolic Church is not technically Orthodox because it was formed before the split and did not participate in that craziness.

      Just to let you know, main Orthodox churches (Greek, Russian, Georgian, etc.) DO NOT view Armenians as Orthodox.

  16. artashes said:

    Great! That is a very good message to all those who have fooled Armenians for years!

  17. Hamasdegh said:

    So it means that the Armenian-Americans, at least one segment of it based on this report, has given up on its contacts with official party structures in the US. While the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is CRITICAL to me as an Armenian, aren’t there other issues on which we need to dialogue with these institutions? After all we are citizens of this great country, and we need to engage in as many avenues as possible to enhance our political profile and have our say in matters that concern the destiny of our country.

  18. anahita said:

    I now respect Romney more. Finally we have a candidate who will not promise empty words to get our votes. For that reason I shall vote Romney.

  19. hrair said:

    This story just reinforces the reality that the whole notion to spend limited financial resources, efforts to engage politicians and secure their support for issues of concern to the Armenian community is a losing proposition and is unrealistic at this time and place. Clearly the resources of the Armenian community are not a match to multi-billion dollar corporations, oil companies, and or resources of governments like Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    Considering the whole political reality in Washington it is insincere and naïve today to hope that any one politician is to be motivated and guided by high morals and championing the cause of justice.
    I respect the hard work and efforts of ANC , but I have to disagree with the presumptive notion that community based grass root campaigns and activism is to be fruitful and affective without huge financial dividends. This is at least self-deception. The world has changed so did the game. ANC and other Armenian organizations should adapt to and change with this new reality or become irrelevant and find themselves out of the game, as it is the case at this presidential election. Yes it is easy said then done , but a good start for innovative , out of the box thinking and a new approach is worth investing in.

    • Captain said:

      I’m with you “Hrair” I’m not Armenia but just as people of Armenia decent we are all Americans and We should look at todays reality!

      Good words of wisdom! Good to hear you speak!

  20. Norik said:

    You brain power is so limitted that you can’t think outside of Armenian issues. That’s ok if another 4 years of Obama will destroy this country and, no mistake, Armenia. Forget thousands of other reasons. Only one reason is enough to vote for Romney. Oil prices will go down (remember who is against drilling for oil) and so less money for Azerbaidjan. I hope somone in Armenian so called “Leaders” will finally understand this.

    • Amote said:

      Norik are you even allowed to vote ? Romney is just an idiot watch his debates he never answers a question he goes around it, a vote for Obama will ensure 4 years of peace at least in the middle east, while if you vote for the republican the U.S. is definatly going to war which means less money to spend on healthcare/education/public services and more money on the army. Think wider than your oil price think about the education that your kids will get and then go to vote my friend

    • steve said:

      dear Norik .USA paying almost nothing for their oil from middle east. ASK SAUDIS
      Drilling their oil wil profit USA even more profit.BUY for NOTHING selling higher makes sense
      Want effect azerbaidjan or world prices at all
      remember today WAR ==FREE PETROL ???

    • Ara said:

      Presidents have ZERO say over oil prices, they have little or no say in other important matters as well, it is the CORPORATIONS that rule the US and the world.

      If you think Romney will be “better” than Obama then you are extremely uninformed.

      Presidents are nothing more than figureheads, the REAL policy makers are the people behind the scenes.

  21. Sevan said:

    Good decision ANCA. I applaud this strategy. We too can play the ignore game that both candidates seem eager to employ. The hell with both of them.

  22. Zareh said:

    Armenians should stop wasting their financial resources on American politicians. Every single cent should be sent to the military in Armenia so they can buy the best weapons. The world is still a jungle and the stronger monkey will get the best fruit on the tree.

  23. մութ գիշեր said:

    Mitt ‘$3′ Romney is in the back pocket of the ziocons. His election means commencement of Operation Iranian Freedom.
    In case you think the present situation around is Syria terrible, wait till 100K Armenians of Iran start pouring into Meghri.
    I don’t much care for Oh Bummer – but he at least has managed to resist the huge pressure coming from these psychopath warmongers to start a fresh Mideast war.
    Also, get prepared for $10/gallon gasoline.

  24. Tony said:

    Nice to see the ANC is not “cow-towing”to these scum….and talar,suck my hairy, greasy cock, you whore

  25. HARRY D said:

    IF ONE DAY AN ARMENIAN OR TCHAGKNAG CANDIDATE IS ELECTED AS PRESIDENT WE WILL GET HIS ASSURANCE THAT HE WILL PASS THE GENOCIDE IN CONGRESS. CAN HE OVERRULE THE SENATE OR CONGRESS VOTES.?
    GET REAL, YOU WANT OUR GENOSIDE TO BE RECOGNIZED LEGALLY THAN GO THE RIGHT AND LEGAL WAY OF RECOGNITION OF GENOSIDE. TAKE THEM TO INTERNATIONAL COURT GENEVA
    ORGINIZE A COMMITTEE WITH NO POLITICLAL PARTIES AND COLLECT FUNDS FROM PEOPLE
    $ 10.0 PER ARMENIAN FOR THIS PURPOSE
    ‘WILL BE ENOUGH TO SUE TURKEY FOR DAMAGES AND RECOGNITION, AND TIME IS TOO SHORT.

    • GB said:

      Armenians needs fellow Orthodox Christian support as well, such as Serbs, Eastern Europeans, Greeks, Macedonians, Assyrians, Coptic American… and many more, then we will see a huge power altogether in US political decision making forum. I advise ANCA look into this option in the future!!

      In Hague court, where so called Human Rights advocates took some Serb leaders for trial as crime against humanity, we Armenians supposed to raise our voices and demonstrate in front of court building about Armenian Genocide recognition in Hague court!!Unfortunately we did not. We could easily get support of thousands of Serbians or Croatians, and Balkan Christian nations in Europe against this unjust trials in Hague, where politically the faith of Albanian, and Kosovars Muslims were more important than fellow Christians!!

  26. Nairi said:

    I wonder if this time around because it’s Obama’s second and last term he will indeed fulfill his promise of acknowledging the Genocide. I wonder if it was a strategic move, kind of like Clinton pardoning a bunch of people right before he left office.

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