In "a shot across President Obama's bow," Democratic former Mayor Ed Koch yesterday urged voters in Queens and Brooklyn to make "history" by voting for the Republican candidate to replace randy ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner in the Sept. 13 special election -- as a protest against the White House's policy on Israel.
Koch -- a staunch ally of Israel -- said he would "vote for Bob Turner" if the Republican-Conservative candidate backs Israel and opposes cutbacks to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
"If Jewish New Yorkers and others who support Israel were to turn away from the Democratic Party in that congressional election and elect the Republican candidate to Congress in 2011, it might very well cause President Obama to change his hostile position on the state of Israel and to re-establish the special relationship presidents before him had supported," Koch said in his weekly commentary.
Koch likened the situation to Republican Scott Brown winning the Massachusetts Senate seat long occupied by Ted Kennedy.
"I want to put a shot across Obama's bow," Koch said in an interview.
He is furious with Obama over the president's public push to get Israel to use its 1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations over a Palestinian state.
Koch also said he's upset with Obama for considering trimming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to get a deficit/debt reduction agreement with the GOP.
Koch's comments are an early headache for Assemblyman David Weprin, the Democratic candidate handpicked to replace Weiner, who resigned in disgrace amid a sexting scandal.
As expected, Weprin yesterday received the endorsement of the union-backed Working Families Party. He got the backing of the Independence Party over the weekend.
Meanwhile Turner, a retired media executive, launched his candidacy at the Forest Hills railroad station. He was joined by a bevy of party bosses, including state GOP chairman Ed Cox and state Conservative Party honcho Mike Long.
GOP sources in Washington said Turner faces long odds because Democrats hold a 100,000-voter registration advantage in the district. Because of the disparity, the national party is reluctant to pour a lot of money into the race, but officials say they are monitoring the race to see if Turner catches fire.