Jesse Jackson may have denied saying that Zionists control American foreign policy , but that didn’t stop the McCain campaign from using the remarks to attack what they called Barack Obama’ “poor” record on Israel.
In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, McCain Florida Jewish outreach campaign co-chairs Rep. Adam Hasner and Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, and top McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann argued that Jackson fit a “pattern” of “advisers” and “associates” of Obama who they said are not strong friends of Israel – from Samantha Power to Robert Malley to Gen. Merrill McPeak
“Sen. Obama does not have a record that can give Jewish voters comfort,” said Hasner.
“You have to judge him by the company he keeps,” said Bogdanoff.
But Jackson isn’t an adviser to Obama, and the two hardly seem to have a warm relationship – considering Jackson threatened to cut Obama’s private parts off earlier this year. Asked why they kept referring to “advisors” or “associates” in regard to Jackson when they don’t appear to be particularly close, Bogdanoff said that Obama has “had a close relationship” with Jackson, claiming that the civil rights leader had helped Obama in his rise through the Chicago political world.
Ryan Lizza’s lengthy articleon Obama’s rise in Chicago politics from this summer mentions Jackson twice – once to note that Jackson’s daughter is a close friend of Michelle Obama’s, and the other recounting that Jackson was the featured speaker at an anti-war rally Obama also spoke at before the Iraq war began.
Scheunemann then responded that the campaign had, in a press release earlier that day, merely called Jackson a “supporter” of Obama.