The Republican Jewish Coalition is taking credit for helping "the Jewish community get clear answers" about Barack Obama.
"The RJC is proud to have played a role in facilitating this important debate," wrote RJC executive director Matt Brooks in a letter to the organization’s more than 45,000 members. The group’s negative advertisements targeting Obama and his positions on Middle East issues angered Jewish Democrats, who felt the ads distorted the truth.
Brooks also claims that "President-elect Obama still has problems with Jewish voters" — even though Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote, according to exit polls (and more than 70 percent in pre-election polls). Brooks notes in the letter that the RJC’s television ad campaign in three swing states cost $1.3 million, and that the organization also distributed 200,000 pieces of literature. Here’s the full missive:
Dear RJC Member:
It is just one week since Senator Barack Obama won the election for President of the United States. I want to take a moment to reflect on that election and report to you on the Republican Jewish Coalition’s recent activities.
All of us did our part in raising critical policy issues in the Jewish community and the RJC is proud of the role you played in facilitating this important debate. We are proud that with your help, the RJC not only raised these important matters, but helped the Jewish community get clear answers.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the outcome we preferred. Yet, in a very challenging and unprecedented political year, the GOP held on to the inroads it has made in the Jewish community – further highlighting the fact that President-elect Obama still has problems with Jewish voters.
Looking back, we accomplished a great deal together in 2008:
* The RJC placed a hard-hitting television commercial targeting the Jewish communities in: Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The total buy was over $1.3 million.
* The RJC placed nine print ads in our "Concerned about Obama" campaign in Jewish newspapers nationwide and placed web ads on major Jewish web sites.
* The RJC made three web videos including our hugely popular Jackie Mason video which had over 90,000 unique views.
* The RJC held a highly visible grassroots issue-advocacy initiative called "Concerned About Obama" in four important states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. Over 250 RJC members participated and we distributed close to 200,000 pieces of literature in key Jewish communities.
* The RJC held 14 Grassroots Training Seminars including Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada. At these seminars we trained over 1,000 surrogates on important issues related to the Jewish community.
* The RJC garnered an enormous amount of earned media through our TV, web and print campaigns including mentions in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, JTA, the Forward and many more.
* The RJC increased its membership to over 45,000 members.
* So far in 2008, the RJC has held over 385 chapter events across the nation.
Early on, the RJC challenged President-elect Obama to articulate his positions on important issues. Through our actions, we let him know that the Jewish community would carefully examine his responses. As a result, neither party nor candidate took the support of the Jewish community for granted. The RJC is proud to have played a role in facilitating this important debate. We cannot thank you enough for your part in our efforts.
Despite the outcome, we have the opportunity to grow the RJC in each and every one of our communities. Experience tells me that new Jewish Republicans will start emerging over the next few months and we look forward to welcoming them into the RJC family. With your ongoing support, the RJC will continue to be the premier voice for Jewish Republicans. I hope you’ll take a moment to make a contribution to the RJC today.
Thank you for everything you have done over the last year. I look forward to working with all of you in building the RJC over the next four years.