During Tuesday’s debate in Ohio Hillary Clinton argued that Barack Obama had not gone far enough in speaking out against Louis Farrakhan. After the debate her pollster, Mark Penn, was in the spin room arguing that Obama may have rejected and denounced Farrakhan, but he failed to criticize his pastor’s praise of the Nation of Islam leader.
Well, if this race makes it to Pennsylvania, it will be interesting to find out what Clinton has to say on the issue of Farrakhan to her most important backer in the state, Governor Ed Rendell.
Then the mayor of Philadelphia, Rendell not only made a controversial decision to share the stage with Farrakhan in an effort to diffuse racial tensions in the city, but then praised the NOI for its emphasis on family values and self-sufficiency (this, after ripping what he described as “so-called Jewish leaders” for criticizing the decision to give Farrakhan a platform).
Along similar lines, undoubtedly Jewish Republicans are taking notes on how to take aim at Obama over the Farrakhan question. They may want to check their back files – they’ll find this 2000 ad attacking Joe Lieberman (now McCain’s most prominent Jewish supporter) for saying he’d meet with Farrakhan.