Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the celebrity New Jersey rabbi running for Congress, released a new ad Monday that highlights his beard as a reason to vote for him.
The comedic, 90-second web video features Boteach, the Republican candidate running against Rep. Bill Pascrell (D), touting his beard as a reason voters can trust him. Pascrell, who defeated Rep. Steve Rothman (D) in a contentious Democratic primary, does not have facial hair.
"Would you rather choose as your congressman someone who every morning lathers up and takes a blade and great personal risk rather than put the needs of the nation before him?" Boteach said in the ad.
Boteach also used the ad to highlight several "great men" with facial hair, including former Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield, as well as former Republican Rhode Island Gov. Ambrose Burnside, Ernest Hemingway, Frederick Douglass, Sigmund Freud and John Lennon.
Boteach, a former spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson, has been using humor and his celebrity connections in his race against Pascrell in the newly drawn Democratic-leaning district. Earlier this year, Boteach campaigned alongside reality show star Jon Gosselin, highlighting the issue of tax deductible marriage counseling. Gosselin, whose marriage fell apart on national television after an affair, said that if he could have gotten a tax deducation for marriage counseling, his marriage could have been saved. Boteach is a spiritual advisor to Gosselin.
Boteach, the author of "Kosher Sex," used the ad's release to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana.
“As we enter into Rosh Hashana, I wish each and every one of you a very happy and sweet new year infused with G-d’s light, joy and blessings. May this year be prosperous for all of you - perhaps slightly more for us Republicans - but to you Democrats as well," Boteach said in a statement. "May G-d bless each and every one of you, may there be peace on earth, and may this great nation live up to its fullest potential – especially the innate male potential to sport facial hair.”