American Bridge ventures into Jewish/Virginia politics

Yes, you read that right! “Jewish/Virginia politics.” It ain’t just Eric Cantor anymore.

Next month, Virginians elect a governor.


American Bridge, a liberal PAC that tracks all things embarrassing to Republicans, has posted the video, below, compiling a weird duo of election-related incidents that upset the region’s Jews (I covered the incidents here and here) and — perhaps in a bid to meet the old “think piece” convention that if it’s three, it makes a trend — adds a third not-so-related incident.

A little context before you venture in:

–Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP candidate for governor, repudiated (almost immediately) an anti-Semitic joke told by a local Republican Party functionary at one of his campaign events (about Jews, the pope, and a bill for the Last Supper.) We don’t see this repudiation acknowledged in the American Bridge ad. Also, the “jokester,” John Whitbeck, apologized (eventually.) Also, the newscast American Bridge selects refers to “supporters” telling an anti-Semitic joke. It was just one.

–E.W. Jackson, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, made his comments about non-Christians having a “false religion” in a sermon, not on the campaign trail. This is not exonerative, but as the American Jewish Committee noted in its statement, it may be mitigative.

–The third piece is about Allen West, the former Florida congressman who is appearing at an event on Jackson’s behalf, and who left his job at a conservative media site last week, reportedly after calling a colleague a “Jewish American Princess.”

Including West is especially weird because a) West is from Florida, b) he’s appearing just once on Jackson’s behalf, as far as we know, and c) a heated exchange, as opposed to a premeditated joke and sermon, takes up the bulk of the ad and is described by American Bridge as somehow “worse” than those two incidents.

Here’s the video:

Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.