Continued from page 1

Mr. Aboul Fotouh had fought against a plank in the Brotherhood’s 2007 platform saying that women and Christians should be barred from running for president. Mr. Morsi supported the exclusionary language.

In recent weeks, Mr. Morsi has sought to moderate his image, vowing not to impose the veil on women and saying he would appoint Christian presidential advisers. He also has promised to uphold Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, despite having called Israelis “vampires.”

Joshua Stacher, a political science professor at Kent State University who has met Mr. Morsi several times, said it would be a mistake to extrapolate the Muslim Brotherhood’s future behavior from its past statements.

“The Brotherhood is a disciplined organization,” he said. “They’re going to play ball with neo-liberal economics. They’re going to play ball with Israel. Their actions don’t match the rhetoric.”

But the rhetoric could alienate members of Congress at a time when foreign aid is receiving increased scrutiny. The U.S. gives Egypt $1.3 billion in annual military aid - more than to any country but Israel.

U.S. support for Israel has long been a sore spot for Mr. Morsi. In a 2009 interview with Mr. Stacher published by the Middle East Research and Information Project, Mr. Morsi said that “American taxpayers are buying the hatred of other people.”

“We will never forget in the future how to hate America because of all this running blood,” he said. “Yes, the Zionists are doing it, but with the diplomatic support of the U.S. As long as they are doing this, the resistance will never stop.”

Eric Trager, an Egypt expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the test for Mr. Morsi is not what he says on the campaign circuit, but how he would react in a crisis.

“Given the upsurge in militant activity in the Sinai Peninsula, another attack on Israel from Egyptian territory - and an Israeli response - is practically inevitable,” he said. “Can anyone have confidence in a President Morsi communicating with his Israeli and American counterparts to dial down the tension?”