A GOP senator’s reelection campaign team was accused of playing off anti-Semitic tropes with a digital attack ad involving a manipulated image of his 2020 opponent.
Ossoff denounced the edited version of a 2017 image of himself, below, as “the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history.”
The Forward, the Jewish newspaper, first reported on the edited nature of the image Monday, citing three graphic designers who confirmed its alteration.
The donation-soliciting post further accused “the radical left” Democrats of “trying to buy Georgia” and featured a picture of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is also Jewish.
Perdue’s campaign claimed that “in the graphic design process handled by an outside vendor, the photo was resized and a filter was applied, which appears to have caused an unintentional error that distorted the image.”
“Obviously, this was accidental, but to ensure there is absolutely no confusion, we have immediately removed the image from Facebook,” a spokesperson said in a statement sent to multiple media outlets. Perdue himself hadn’t seen the ad before it was released, they said.
“Anybody who implies that this was anything other than an inadvertent error is intentionally misrepresenting Senator Perdue’s strong and consistent record of standing firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate,” they added.
Ossoff wasn’t buying the explanation, however.
“Senator, literally no one believes your excuses,” he tweeted Monday.
Bend the Arc, a Jewish advocacy group, described the ad as “blatant antisemitism.” “It’s not an accident. It’s their platform,” it tweeted:
According to a listing on Facebook’s political ad library, Perdue’s campaign spent $300-$399 on the ad that began running on July 22.
It targeted the over-65s in Georgia and Texas and netted 3,000 to 4,000 impressions.
The Perdue campaign has so far spent more than $150,000 on Facebook ads in the race against media executive Ossoff, which political pundits expect to be a close contest.
Ossoff, meanwhile, is currently in self-isolation after his wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, tested positive for the coronavirus, reported the Associated Press.
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