Henry Ford Hypocrisy

NJDC slammed Romney for event at Henry Ford Museum in 2007 but remains silent as Obama prepares to hold appearance at same place

April 18, 2012

When Mitt Romney launched his 2007 presidential bid at a museum honoring the auto tycoon Henry Ford, the National Jewish Democratic Council blasted the candidate for appearing at a museum named after a famous anti-Semite.

But President Obama’s upcoming appearance at the same location has yet to elicit a peep from the Democrats’ Jewish attack dog.

Romney opted to announce his candidacy in the early days of the last election cycle at the Henry Ford Museum, a Michigan-based memorial that celebrates the auto giant.

The NJDC’s former leader and current senior adviser to the Obama campaign, Ira Forman, pounced on Romney in 2007, chastising the candidate for cozying up to "a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe."

"Romney has been traveling the country talking about inclusiveness and understanding of people from all walks of life. … Yet he chooses to kick [off] his presidential campaign on the former estate of a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe," Forman griped to the Associated Press at the time.

Forman added that Romney’s "embrace of Henry Ford and association of Ford’s legacy with his presidential campaign raises serious questions about either the sincerity of Romney’s words or his understanding of basic American history." 

The NJDC—under the current leadership of David Harris—did not respond to a request for comment on Obama’s upcoming fundraiser at the same museum.

Jewish political insiders say the NJDC’s silence is revealing.

"Once again the NJDC has one set of rules when it comes to Republicans and a different standard as it relates to Democrats," said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the NJDC’s chief political rival.

"We see the shameless hypocrisy of the NJDC, which was so quick to attack Mitt Romney for an event he held at the Ford Museum, yet remains silent when Obama hosts a major event at the same Museum," Brooks added.

Another longtime political insider said that the NJDC has become an ineffective embarrassment to the Democrats.

"They are a shameless organization that time has already forgotten, and the next time we see a press release from them attacking Mitt Romney for hosting an event supposedly with anti-Semites, the voters will know there is no validity to such claims," said a senior GOP adviser who tracks the Jewish community.

The insider added, "The NJDC, heretofore, has lost all credibility on these issues. It can never again attack a Republican candidate on issues like anti-Semitism."