The National Jewish Democratic Council is launching a bid to push back against GOP attacks on President Obama in Jewish communities in swing states.
“The Republicans are going to spend a boatload of money trying to swiftboat the president and we will amass whatever resources we can get to rebut these lies and distortions of the presidents record on Israel,” Marc Stanley, the NJDC chairman, told JTA, referring to false attacks on the military record of U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) when he was running for president in 2004.
Stanley said he was reaching out to fundraisers who have expressed an interest in recent days in such a counteroffensive, sparked in part by news this week that the Republican Jewish Coalition was launching a $6.5 million TV ad blitz in swing states featuring Jewish voters who are switching from Obama to Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.
Stanley said he would need to raise at least $1 million for the counteroffensive, and did not expect to match the RJC coffers, especially because that group is backed by Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who has already funneled tens of millions of dollars into the Republican campaign.
“The truth is we won’t have the resources the Republicans have because we don’t have a Sheldon Adelson—yet,” he said.
Stanley said the campaign would target Jewish voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin. He said the effort would encompass social media, polling, mass mailings and get out the vote, as well as videos.
Harvey Weinstein, the cofounder of Miramax films, had pledged to assist in producing video for the web and for TV, Stanley said.
Separately, the Forward Thursday that two major Jewish Democratic donors, Haim Saban and Irwin Mark Jacobs, were collectively donating $3 million to political action committees backing Obama. Saban, who has criticized Obama for some of his Israel policies, had suggested in the past that he might not donate to Obama’s campaign, although he would continue to donate to Democrats.