A GOP senator’s reelection campaign team was accused of invoking an anti-Semitic trope with a digital attack ad that used a manipulated image of his Democratic challenger.
Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) campaign has since removed the ad, below, from Facebook. It showed 2020 Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, with a bigger nose:
Ossoff denounced the altered 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 image on Monday, citing three graphic designers who confirmed its alteration.
Purdue’s donation-soliciting post accused “the radical left” Democrats of “trying to buy Georgia” and featured a picture of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who also is Jewish.
Perdue’s campaign claimed the altered Ossoff photo was an accident, and blamed technology and an outside vendor.
“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,” a spokesperson said in a statement sent to multiple media outlets. “Obviously, this was accidental, but to ensure there is absolutely no confusion, we have immediately removed the image from Facebook.”
Perdue hadn’t seen the ad before it was posted, his campaign 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,” the campaign added.
Ossoff wasn’t buying the explanation.
“Senator, literally no one believes your excuses,” the Democrat tweeted.
Bend the Arc, a Jewish advocacy group, described the ad as “blatant antisemitism.” “It’s not an accident. It’s their platform.”
According to a listing on Facebook’s political ad library, Perdue’s campaign spent $300 to $399 to place the ad, which began running on July 22. It targeted people over age 65 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 in self-isolation after his wife Dr. Alisha Kramer tested positive for the coronavirus, reported The Associated Press.