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2020

Republican Jewish group to slam Bernie Sanders in debate ad Tuesday

Ad will air on stations in Florida and other battleground states.

Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund announced Monday it intends to air a TV commercial during the next Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night slamming Sen. Bernie Sanders for his statements and positions relating to Israel.

The 30-second spot, entitled “Insane,” cites quotes from Sanders and about him, seeking to paint him as extreme, radical, and out of touch, the RJC Victory Fund stated.

The group, an affiliate of the Republican Jewish Coalition, announced it would be airing the ad in private CBS stations in Florida and the three other battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, plus in Washington, D.C. The ad will run sometime during Tuesday’s debate in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by CBS News, which starts at 8 p.m.

The debate may be the last before Florida’s March 17 primary. The Ohio and Arizona primaries also are on March 17. The Pennsylvania primary is not until April 28. Regardless, the commercial may be geared more toward independents and Republicans who vote in November, as RJC Victory Fund supports President Donald Trump‘s reelection. The organization said Tuesday’s ad will be part of a $10 million campaign to reach Jewish voters in this election cycle.

“The Jewish community faces the very real risk that we could end up trading the most pro-Israel President in history for the first enemy-of-Israel President in history,” RJC Victory Fund CEO Matt Brooks wrote in a news release about the commercial. “The stakes for the Jewish community and the nation with Bernie Sanders as President could not be higher.”

There is no narration of the commercial, just black-and-white footage of Sanders speaking at a  J Street forum, the liberal Israel policy advocacy group based in Washington D.C.

As foreboding music plays, text displays various quotes, not providing much context. In one, Sanders is quoted as saying, “Israel should be condemned.” The next states, “Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel.” Then a U.S. News & World Report headline is displayed, reading, “Bernie Sanders Escalates Attacks on Israel’s ‘Racist’ Netanyahu.” That is followed by a Times of Israel headline reading, “Bernie Sanders blasts introduction of anti-BDS bill as ‘absurd.'”

The commercial ends with this text message: “Voting for Bernie Sanders would be insane.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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