There was a lot in the news yesterday about a negative “push poll” — in which the survey’s sponsor asks leading, negative questions about an opposing candidate or viewpoint — targeting Jews specifically, with allegedly negative information about Obama. Well, JTA has found out who sponsored it.
RJC admits sponsoring negative Obama poll
The Republican Jewish Coalition admitted it sponsored a negative poll about Barack Obama. Politico reported that the RJC took responsibility for the phone survey in swing states that asked voters their response to negative statements about Obama. Those statements included reported praise for him from a leader of the Palestinian terror group Hamas and a friendship early in his career with a pro-Palestinian university professor. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks told the publication that his organization conducted the poll to “understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters.” Brooks denied that the poll was a “push poll” meant to influence Jewish voters, and said it was a traditional survey meant to gauge the opinions of Jewish voters. A top Jewish Obama supporter slammed the RJC. “Peddling lies and hateful distortions to scare Jewish voters is reprehensible and deeply disrespectful to Jewish Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.).
Here’s a transcript of the call, based upon reporting by the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn:
After going over some more issues and confirming the fact that I was likely to vote for Obama, the caller made a series of rather pointed inquiries. Would it affect my vote, he said, if I knew that
Obama has had a decade long relationship with pro-Palestinian leaders in Chicago
the leader of Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, expressed support for Obama and his hope for Obama’s victory
the church Barack Obama has attended is known for its anti-Israel and anti-American remarks
Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israel national security advisor is one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisors
Barack Obama was the member of a board (sic) that funded a pro-Palestinian chartiable organization
Barack Obama called for holding a summit of Muslim nations exlcuding Israel if elected president
My notes are pretty close to verbatim. (I started typing as soon as I realized I was getting polled.) When the caller was finished, I got a supervisor on the phone and asked if he would tell me who was sponsoring the survey. He said he couldn’t reveal that information.
Trying to “understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters”? Unless I’m missing something, it looks to me like between this and the ads they’re running in Jewish newspapers across the country (though not, at least as of yet, ours) that they’re trying to propagate this problem among Jewish voters.