Ben Smith has been all over the story of anti-Obama push poll calls to Jewish voters in swing states. But he got a real scoop yesterday when he forced the Republican Jewish Coalition to fess up that it was funding smeary calls pointing out lies and distortions about Obama’s record regarding Israel:
A Republican group is taking responsibility for a poll that has roiled the Jewish community by asking sharply negative questions about Senator Barack Obama.
The Republican Jewish Coalition…sponsored the poll to “understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters,” the group’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico.
The poll asked voters their response to negative statements about Obama, including 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. Some Jewish Democrats who received the poll…were outraged by the poll, describing it in interviews as “ugly” and disturbing…
Brooks said the RJC, whose board includes advisors and fundraisers for Senator John McCain, had placed 750 calls to Jewish voters in five states: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He accused the protesters of “intimidation.”
If you believe Brooks, he’s basically a Jewish Boy Scout political scientist interested in exploring the mind of the average American Jew and providing a civics lesson.
The following statement by him is even more preposterous and transparently fake:
Brooks, however, denied that the poll was meant to influence Jewish voters, and said it was a traditional poll meant to gauge the opinions of Jewish voters.
“What we did is test, in standard polling methodology, a number of factual issues that have been reported on in the press and are policy positions to see how they’re resonating in the Jewish community,” said Brooks. “The notion that this is a ‘push poll’ is offensive to us.”
Why sure it wasn’t a push poll. They were just passing off lies about Obama’s record because they’re writing a poli sci college textbook about proper polling techniques in presidential elections. If you believe any of this I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
Interesting that Brooks appears to lie about possibly the most egregious question peddled in the poll–asking whether the respondent knew Obama was a Muslim:
Brooks declined to release the script of the poll, but he denied the charge – made by two voters who received it – that pollsters had asked for a reaction to the claim that Obama is a Muslim.
“I went into this whole tirade about how I had read his autobiography and how he wasn’t a Muslim but if he was a Muslim I would vote for him anyway,” said Joelna Marcus, a retired college professor who received the call at a phone number for her home in Key West, Fla.
Who would you believe, Brooks or yours and Joelna Marcus’ “lyin’ eyes?”
Smith does get one thing wrong in conceding at least partial accuracy to all the poll questions:
Most of the statements are true, at least in part…Brzezinski is an informal advisor to Obama
Actually, Brzezinski is NOT an informal advisor to the Obama campaign. This statement has been made by the campaign and confirmed by Brzezinski. However, the charge that he IS a campaign advisor has been made repeatedly by neocon hawks and Jewish Republicans.
Thanks to reader Beth Stuart for alerting me to this story.