Campaign Confidential

RJC Warns 'You Should Be' Worried About Barack Obama

By Brett Lieberman

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In what’s sure to draw fire from Democrats and Barack Obama’s campaign, the Republican Jewish Coalition unveiled two tough new ads sure to evoke strong emotions, not to mention controversy.

Under the headline, “Concerned about Barack Obama? You should be,” the ads shown below feature a series of pictures of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, other Muslim leaders and protesters burning an Israeli flag.

The text quotes Obama telling an audience that “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela…don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.” The ad notes Obama’s willingness to hold direct talks with nations such as Iran, though Obama has said that doesn’t mean options including the use of force would be off the table. It also cited his opposition to legislation designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist entity.

Another ad says “History has shown that a naive and weak foreign policy has resulted in tragic outcomes for the Jewish people” and claims Obama “surrounds himself with anti-Israel advisors…”

UPDATE: Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, responded: “Because Republicans Jews are intellectually brain dead, the only thing they know how to do is fear and negativity. They have nothing positive to say about their candidate.”

He went on to compared the RJC’s tactics of taking text out of context to bolster their political arguments to the tactics employed by the former KGB.

“It’s hard to imagine that somebody would have no shame to distort a record the way the RJC does,” Forman said.

Responding to some of the specifics of the charges, Forman noted that Obama made clear he supported targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, but opposed the Kyl-Lieberman legislation along with other Democrats, who feared it would be interpreted by the Bush administration as a blank check to invade Iran.

Forman downplayed the impact of the ads, noting that GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is “the perfect example of inexperience in foreign policy.”

NJDC plans to unveil its own ads as early as this week.

UPDATE 9/11/08

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks responds with the following statement:

“Rather than engaging in name calling and ad hominem attacks which Mr. Forman does, I would simply point out that all the points in our ads are undisputed facts and are all listed with citations. I invite people to look for themselves and judge if in fact we are taking things out of context. Or is Mr. Forman trying to deflect attention from the reality of the situation – compared to most Democratic candidates, Barack Obama is underperforming among Jewish voters. Every poll reflects that many Jewish voters have doubts and concerns about Barack Obama.”

Here are the two new ads from the Republican Jewish Coalition:


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