The Washington Post has an article about Republican ads which depict candidates holding fistful of dollars. Specifically, the article contains claims that:

“[...] I will say I have not seen images like this in 21st-century America before.” [...]

Republican ads for other [from context: Non-Jewish] candidates in Washington did not feature the same imagery [as an ad targeting a Jewish candidate]

“It’s not by chance that they’re showing people showing money. It’s not by chance that these people happen to be Jews, and it’s not by chance that there’s more talk about people’s Jewish identity in politics,” [...]

The sort of image the article is referencing are campaign ads which depict the candidate holding money. For example:

Campaign ad showing Matt Lesser holding a bundle of dollars

The article also quotes Republicans denying that these ads target Jewish candidates specifically, but are instead a comment on fiscal policies.

Are Republicans indeed specifically targeting Jewish candidates with antisemitic imagery, or are they using this imagery equally against all Democratic candidates?

  • 3
    I feel like this might be an unknowable question; the only people qualified to give an answer to this question backed up with sources would have to be in the meeting room of the campaign publishing these advertisements to give an account of what was discussed first-hand, which nobody would reasonably do and tell the truth about if the targeting was indeed race-based. I think this question should be closed on the basis of "can't be answered in an objective way" (although I published an answer anyway).
    – Ertai87
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 20:14
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    @Ertai87 The question is not about intention, but about impact. It might be that Republicans are just by chance only targeting Jewish candidates with these ads, but that's not relevant (here). The question is only "what is the breakdown of these ads by Jewish/non-Jewish candidates", or are there counter-examples for the "no ads like these before" / "no ads like these for non-Jewish candidates" points.
    – tim
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 20:23
  • 5
    @tim It is plausible that issues of the economy/spending happen to be hot-button issues in areas in which the Democrats also happen to be running Jewish candidates. I would go so far as to say in this case that even correlation does not necessarily imply correlation here, a la this reference: tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
    – Ertai87
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 20:26
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    @tim, if the definition of antisemitic isn't on-topic, it seems to me that the title and paragraphs are begging the question and tacitly asserting a certain definition of antisemitic imagery. If you are right that this isn't on-topic, then there would be no difference if the title were re-written as: "Are Republicans showing pictures of bundles of cash for Jewish candidates but not for other candidates?" Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 21:51
  • 1
    I didn't see the ads themselves yet so I may be out of ine, but I really don't think it's all that uncommon for one candidate to accuse the other of having too much money earned supposedly unethically from the tax payers. Unless the imagery is overtly antisemitic, I'm not entirely convinced that the correlation is relevant.
    – PC Luddite
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 5:40

2 Answers 2


It's not just Jews.

For example:

enter image description here

According to WRAL with respect to the above ad concerning George Holding:

The ad has run more than 500 times so far on network television in the Raleigh

and according to Wikipedia:

George and Lucy Holding... are members of Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh

Republicans are also depicted by the news media in the same way:

enter image description here

The above is the Tucson Weekly's depiction of Senator Jon Kyl who is reportedly Presbyterian.


Here are some counter-examples to the WaPo narrative: Democratic candidates that have been targeted with adverts suggesting they are motivated by cash, even though the candidates are not Jewish:

The first is actually of national importance. This is Phil Breseden, Dem Senator Candidate from TN:

This is Phil Breseden, Dem Senator Candidate from TN

Source: Tennessee Star

Breseden attends a Presbyterian Church but tries to separate his religious beliefs from campaigning.

Claire McCaskill D-Sen MO., has a "smear campaign" advert against her sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Screenshot "She gets rich while you pay"

Screenshot from video

Wikipedia has a couple of sources explaining she is Catholic.

Here is another example, from New Jersey from 2015:

Vince Mazzeo has a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly.

In 2015, attack ads were mailed out:

Anti-Mazzeo ad with a pile of money

Mazzeo's religious beliefs do not seem to be widely publicized.

Given the hundreds of campaigns in the House, the Senate, across state legislative assemblies, and lower level localities, this charge of targeting seems to fall flat.

  • 3
    Not that I think it matters, but I am part Jewish, just declaring that
    – user36356
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 20:34
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    It's not clear to me if this answer supports the allegation, because everyone listed is Jewish, or undermines the allegation, because no one listed is Jewish. Or I might be missing the point entirely.
    – Roger
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 20:40
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    @Roger No one listed above is Jewish to my knowledge.
    – user36356
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 21:27
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    I don't think that any of these really apply. The first doesn't seem to be an ad, the second doesn't contain money, and the third has money, but no candidate. The question is about images such as this (candidate clutching money), not any ad that is loosely related to money in some way.
    – tim
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 11:03
  • 2
    @tim You keep moving the goalposts.
    – user11643
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 15:42

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