NJDC’s False Claims About Eric Cantor (COMMENTARY MAGAZINE) Alana Goodman 04/19/12)
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The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) released a statement
this afternoon commending House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for “admit
[ting] to anti-Semitism within the House Republican caucus” during an
interview with Mike Allen today. The problem? Cantor never did that.
In fact, when Allen asked him whether he’s detected anti-Semitism
from members of Congress, Cantor replied with an unequivocal “no.”
Either the NJDC didn’t actually listen to Cantor’s comments (which
you can find here), or just thought the political attack was too good
to pass up. The group issued the following:
In an astonishing but brutally honest admission to Politico today,
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor—the only Jewish Republican in
Congress—openly discussed the challenges of anti-Semitism and racism
confronted within the House Republican caucus, adopting his
questioner’s labeling of it as the “darker side” of the caucus.
National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris
It’s both admirable and disturbing in the extreme to hear Majority
Leader Cantor’s candid remarks regarding the dual challenges of
racism and anti-Semitism that he has detected in the House GOP
caucus. From the widespread use of abusive Holocaust rhetoric among
House GOP members and candidates to behind-the-scenes skirmishes like
Cantor’s own well-documented decision to oppose the reelection of
Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) over his statement to Cantor that Cantor
would not be ‘saved,’ there are clearly deep-seated problems within
the GOP. The time has come for more GOP leaders to have Cantor’s
courage to step forward, and for the GOP to start addressing the
problem directly—with actions, not just words.
The NJDC’s claim is based on a Think Progress story from earlier
today headlined “Cantor Suggests Anti-Semitism is a Problem Within
the House GOP Caucus,” which blatantly misrepresented (even by TP’s
usual standards of accuracy) the congressman’s comments this morning.
At NRO, Patrick Brennan knocks down the story:
TP reported, “Calling it the ‘darker side,’ Cantor responded to
Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-Semitism in
Congress by trying to avoid commenting.” While TP is understandably
eager to portray the House GOP caucus as “the darker side,” they’re
not just spinning his words, they’re lying: Cantor answered the
question directly, and didn’t attempt to avoid comment. The fact that
he eventually grew tired of Allen’s games and didn’t respond to the
final needling can’t be taken as evidence that he actually believes
the precise opposite of his initial, straightforward response — which
is exactly what TP tries to do.
Cantor’s office said the unambiguous “no” the congressman gave in
response to Allen’s question speaks for itself.
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