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Views on Israel of U.S. Presidential Candidates 2020:
John Delaney

(1963 - )

John Kevin Delaney* was born on April 16, 1963. He grew up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, the son of Elaine (Rowe) and Jack Delaney, an electrician. His grandparents came to the United States from Ireland and England. Delaney says the Catholic Church’s “social justice mission has been the North Star of my life.”

While growing up, Delaney worked during breaks from school and spent summers as a mason and excavation laborer, painter, landscaper, and electrician’s assistant working with his father.

He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School. Scholarships from his father’s labor union as well as the American Legion, VFW, and the Lions Club helped Delaney attend Columbia University. After graduating in 1985, he earned a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1988.

After law school, Delaney decided to start his own business. In 1993, Delaney co-founded Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP), to make loans available to smaller-sized health care service providers said to be ignored by larger banks. HCFP went public in 1996 and he became the youngest CEO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Not yet 40, Delaney co-founded CapitalSource in 2000. The company provided commercial loans to small and mid-size businesses. He won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004 and, in 2010, a Bank Enterprise Award from the Treasury Department for the company’s investment in low-income and economically distressed communities. In 2005, CapitalSource was named one of Washingtonian magazine’s best places to work for its company culture and employee benefits.

In 2007, Delaney and his wife were given the Outstanding Philanthropists Award for the Greater Washington, DC region. In 2014, they endowed the Hillary Clinton Fellowship and the Delaney Post-Graduate Residency Program at Georgetown University Law Center. The programs encourage young lawyers to pursue public interest law.

CapitalSource continued to be publicly traded on the NYSE after Delaney’s election, making him the only former CEO of a publicly traded company to serve in the 113th United States Congress. In 2014, the lender merged with PacWest Bancorp.

Delaney was a member of the Board of Directors of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, Georgetown University, National Symphony Orchestra, and the International Center for Research on Women.

After redistricting following the 2010 census, Delaney decided to run for the newly redrawn 6th District against 10-term Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett. The district had long been a Republican stronghold, but it had been significantly reconfigured into a Democratic-leaning district. Delaney won the 2012 election and was reelected in 2014 and 2016.

Committee assignments:

Committee on Financial Services

Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Joint Economic Committee

Polls conducted by Business Insider found that Delaney was “generally considered to be one of the more centrist and right-leaning candidates in the field...[and] among the less experienced candidates.” Delaney was ranked near the bottom in how likable or personable he was perceived to be; however, this was “possibly due to his low profile.”

Delaney and his wife April (née McClain) have four daughters.

On July 28, 2017, Delaney became the first Democrat to announce he was running for president in 2020. Delaney did not run for re-election to Congress in 2018, choosing to focus on his presidential campaign. He dropped out of the race on January 31, 2020.


  • “I am firmly against efforts to delegitimize Israel, such as BDS.” (Delaney for President 2020)

  • “We can’t enable it, we can’t brush it aside, we have to fight it head on with determination. We have to call it out, we have to call it out on the left and we have to call it out on the right because this is bigger than partisan politics. Anti-Semitism is hateful, it’s ugly and its deadly. Sadly, we have seen what happens when we allow hate to fester in Pittsburgh, in Poway and places all around this country we have seen people killed because of their Jewish faith and heritage. Anti-Semitism is anti-American. Jewish people are an important part of our community and our country has always strived to be a place where people of all faiths are welcomed and valued. It would be a tragedy if we lost that as a nation.” (AJC Global Forum, June 3, 2019)


  • “As for our strategic partnership with Israel, it will remain strong and bipartisan under my presidency.  I am completely committed to the security of Israel and recognize them as one of the most important and enduring allies to the United States….The issue of how to achieve peace with the Palestinians, who inhabit the same geographic space, remains on the table. For decades, the United States invested considerably in an effort to achieve a two-state solution, which I have always supported and continue to support. But ultimately, for any solution to succeed, it must be the result of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.” (Delaney for President 2020)

  • “I don’t understand what’s going on in the Democratic Party because there’s a lot of bad actors around the world,” said Delaney. “I don’t understand why we become so preoccupied with what a very good ally of ours is doing… Israel is a very, very strong ally of the United States — one of our strongest, not just in the Middle East, but anywhere in the world. We share a lot of things with them, including a set of values.

    “Can you criticize your friends? Of course,” Delaney continued. “You know that. But there seems to be a bit of an obsession with criticizing Israel right now in the Democratic Party and there’s a lot of other more questionable actors and bad actors obviously around the world that deserve our attention.”

    “I’m not a big fan [of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu] but, at this point I don’t follow his speeches and his sayings every day to make that kind of an accusation about him,” he said. “I don’t think it’s constructive to spend a lot of time beating up on the leader of a very important ally.”

    Delaney said he would continue to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, but would have preferred the decision had been part of a broader negotiated peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, rather than a unilateral decision. “I’ve been to the Golan. I don’t believe that should go back to Syria, which at this moment in time, I mean that’s a crazy idea,” said Delaney. “I don’t know why would we want… to give anything to Syria at this point.” (JewishInsider, August 13, 2019)

  • “I value our nation’s longstanding friendship and partnership with Israel. I am completely committed to the security of Israel and recognize them as one of the most important and enduring allies to the United States.”

    “Like many of you, I believe in the importance of finding peace in the region and the United States should continue to support a two-state solution.” (AJC Global Forum, June 3, 2019)


  • “I support reviving U.S. participation in the JCPOA.  We can leverage our return to the negotiating table to obtain improvements to the deal as well as to address Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region and beyond.” (Delaney for President 2020)

  • “Many of the same individuals that pushed America towards the destructive and costly ‘regime change’ conflict with Iraq are now beating the drums of ‘regime change’ and conflict with Iran,” Delaney said. “This behavior is reckless and irresponsible.” (USA Today¸ May 16, 2019)


  • “In Syria we should not reduce forces until we have a clear understanding of how the Kurds will be protected, that the threat of ISIS is eliminated, that the large numbers of ISIS detainees are dealt with properly and that Iran doesn’t have a military presence on the Israel border.” (Delaney for President 2020)

*AICE does not rate or endorse any candidate for political office.

Sources: Delaney for President 2020;
“John Delaney,” Wikipedia;
Aamer Madhani, “Buttigieg blasts Trump Iran escalation: ‘This is not a game. This is not a show,’” USA Today¸ (May 16, 2019).
2020 Presidential Candidate John Delaney's Message to AJC Global Forum, (June 3, 2019);
Joe Perticone, “John Delaney is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition,” Business Insider, (August 1, 2019);
Ben Jacobs, “John Delaney: When others drop out of the 2020 race, I will shine,” JewishInsider, (August 13, 2019).