GOP Group Behind Obama Jewish Smear Polls

10/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ben Smith Politico.com

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, which is launching a campaign against Obama on behalf of Senator John McCain, 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 - including a New Republic writer who lives in Michigan - were outraged by the poll, describing it in interviews as "ugly" and disturbing. A group that supports Obama, the Jewish Council for Education and Research even staged a protest outside the Manhattan call center from which the calls originated Tuesday.

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