UPDATE: Yesterday, NJDC issued a press release which is enclosed below. Today, we learned of reports indicating that John McCain has apologized to Senator Obama. This was the right thing for him to do. Sadly, the Tennessee Republican Party still has the release on its website, and it is standing by its smear charges. John McCain, as the presumptive nominee should do whatever he can to stop surrogates from taking such actions on his behalf.
NJDC DEMANDS MCCAIN DENOUNCE TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR SMEAR RELEASE AGAINST OBAMA
Tennessee GOP tried to tie Obama to anti-Semitism
February 27, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) demanded that Senator John McCain condemn the Tennessee Republican Party for issuing a smear release against Senator Barack Obama which reprehensibly attempted to tie him to anti-Semitism. In addition, NJDC called on McCain to instruct all his campaign surrogates not to use charges of anti-Semitism for political purposes.
“The Tennessee Republican Party has attempted to smear Barack Obama in a crude, cynical outburst of dirty politics,” said NJDC Executive Director Ira N. Forman. “To use anti-Semitism for political gamesmanship is an insult to Jews of all political persuasions. And frankly, such a blatant stunt isn’t going to fool anyone.”
On Febuary 21, the Tennessee Republican Party issued a press release entitled “Anti-Semites for Obama.” The title alone is enough to classify the release as dirty politics. The text of the release is filled with misinformation and demagoguery. For example, the release incorrectly states that Robert Malley is a “principle foreign policy adviser” to the Obama campaign and disingenuously attempts to tie Obama to Louis Farrakhan – despite the Senator’s condemnation of Mr. Farrakhan.
“John McCain not only needs to condemn this act immediately, he needs to call off the hounds and instruct Republicans to stop spreading smears on his behalf,” continued Forman. “Otherwise, we can only assume that this self-proclaimed straight talker consents to such smear tactics.”
The Tennessee GOP’s release comes in the wake of Republican Rep. Jack Kingston’s (GA) demagogic comment that Obama "may not love the nation he wants to lead." In a post on NJDC’s blog (blog.njdc.org), Forman wrote that “the GOP could show some courage and true patriotism if their presumptive nominee, John McCain, would repudiate such shameful use of patriotism by one of his supporters.” [http://njdc.typepad.com/njdcs_blog/2008/02/beneath-contemp.html]