Three Democratic presidential candidates are now on the speakers’ list at this year’s AIPAC conference, after the Israel lobby group allowed Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar to deliver video messages.
Four years ago, the group rejected an offer from Bernie Sanders to deliver a message by video during his first campaign for president. At the time, it explained that it had changed its rules to bar all video speeches that year.
But this year, with the major conference for Israel supporters coinciding with Super Tuesday, when 14 states hold their primary elections, only one candidate, Mike Bloomberg, had been confirmed to speak before Friday.
Sanders cited concerns about AIPAC when declining to speak, and Elizabeth Warren did not push back against a question that criticized AIPAC when she told an audience earlier this month that she would not be attending.
But Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg had explained that their busy campaign schedules had informed their decision not to attend. Meanwhile, Biden had previously said that he would be open to speaking but had not said whether he actually could.
An AIPAC spokesperson said the Super Tuesday overlap had made video conferencing an option this year but did not respond to questions about when the option had been made available to candidates.
The conference opens on Saturday night and is expected to draw nearly 20,000 people.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.