‘Bernie Bernstein’ Robocall Backfires on Beleaguered Roy Moore Senate Campaign in Alabama, as Critics Charge Antisemitism
Beleaguered Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore of Alabama braced for further political blows on Wednesday as news broke of a “robocall” on behalf of his campaign that utilized an antisemitic stereotype.
Alabama residents received a call on Tuesday purporting to be from “Bernie Bernstein,” a fictitious reporter with The Washington Post — the paper that first ran the allegations that Moore, now 70, had preyed on teenage girls while in his 30s, apparently warning one victim that “no one would believe” her if she reported his aggressive sexual advances to anyone.
If elected on December 17, Moore could well become the first senator since 1862 to be deemed unfit to serve in the chamber by his fellow legislators.
During the scripted call, “Bernstein” — whose name was possibly taken from famed Post reporter Carl Bernstein — offered generous sums of money to women willing to speak out against Moore.
“Hi, this is Bernie Bernstein, I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5,000 and $7,000 dollars,” the recorded voice said, adding a contact email address.
The Moore campaign said it was unaware of the call.
Numerous social media posts highlighted the antisemitic tone of the call, with one tweeter remarking on her experience of growing up as a Jew in Alabama.
It’s fun to joke about Bernie Bernstein , but I grew up in Alabama there were swastikas carved into the picnic tables at my Jewish school.
— Sarah Laskow (@slaskow) November 15, 2017
Bernie Bernstein? Did Hanukkah Solo and International Banker Globalowitz sound too unrealistic? https://t.co/13FrUjntzf
— Brohibition Now (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 14, 2017
Bernie Bernstein just won the coveted Jewlitzer Prize
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) November 14, 2017
Alabama GOP chair:
"'Jewy McJewerson' is too on the nose, Brad. just go with…I don't know, Bernie Bernstein. Yeah. I like it. It's subtle." https://t.co/yWDJ6yBqZx
— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) November 14, 2017