Jewish Democrats praised John McCain for rebuking Tennessee Republicans for a press release entitled “Anti-Semites for Obama.”
The press release issued Feb. 21 tied Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, to Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who recently expressed support for the candidate. Obama has condemned Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rhetoric multiple times.
The release also described Obama’s past membership on the board of a non-profit that donated money to an Arab American group as “disturbing evidence of Obama’s anti-Israel leanings.”
An early version of the press release used Obama’s middle name, Hussein, and included a photograph of him in what was identified as “Muslim attire.”
On Wednesday, the National Jewish Democratic Council called on McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona and the putative Republican candidate, to condemn the press release. “The title alone is enough to classify the release as dirty politics,” NJDC said. “The text of the release is filled with misinformation and demagoguery.”
After reports that McCain had done so and apologized to Obama, NJDC amended its release, and said: “This was the right thing for him to do.”