Monday, April 16, 2007

Tommy Update: Apology is Another Fumble

Tommy just doesn't get it.

The AP reports that in his apology (full text below) to a Jewish audience over remarks linking being Jewish and being good at making money, Tommy steps in it again - - this time saying that earning money is one of "the accomplishments of the Jewish religion."

No, Tommy. Let me advise you, as a Jewish person:

The Jewish religion is a spiritual faith. It is not a course in finance, or business.

Tommy's statements describe caricatures and repeat stereotypes, and are just plain ignorant. Some history, here.

The full text of our former Governor and not-ready-for-prime-time presidential candidate's telling remarks and apology is below.


MONDAY, April 16, 2007, 5:24 p.m.By Associated Press
Thompson apologizes for Jewish remarks

Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson told a Jewish group today that earning money is "part of the Jewish tradition," a remark for which he later apologized.

"I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money," the former Wisconsin governor told the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. "You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."

Later, he added: "I just want to clarify something because I didn't (by) any means want to infer or imply anything about Jews and finances and things. What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You've been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that."

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz first reported the comments. "

Additionally, Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Bureau Chief, filed these details in a story posted online Monday night:

"Additional missteps

"Thompson misspoke a few other times at the conference, according to more than one person present.

"Blogging about the speech Monday, [ Shmuel]Rosner wrote that Thompson referred to "Israeli bonds" as "Jewish bonds." Another member of the audience said Thompson referred to the Jewish Defense League, a controversial militant group, when he appeared to have a more mainstream organization in mind. "

This episode, revealing Tommy's complete unsuitability for the US Presidency, hastens his withdrawal from what had been a modestly-charming vanity campaign that has now devolved into a self-inflicted and humiliation.

The initial Salon.com posting follows:

"'Not that there's anything wrong with that

Did GOP presidential candidate Tommy Thompson just have his "macaca moment"?

Speaking before the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington today, the former Wisconsin governor explained his financial success after government work this way:

"I'm in the private sector, and for the first time in my life I'm earning money," Thompson reportedly said. "You know, that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."

According to a report from Haarezt [an Israeli newspaper], Thompson subsequently apologized, after realizing that he'd upset some people in the audience. We're not so sure that he made things better.

"I just want to clarify something because I didn't [by] any means want to infer or imply anything about Jews and finances and things," Haaretz quotes Thompson as saying. "What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You've been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that."
-- Tim Grieve'

1 comment:

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