Presidential Candidates Urged to Reject Character Defamation
New York, NY, October 13, 2008 … With the presidential campaign entering its final phase, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) appealed to the presidential candidates of both major parties to reject "divisive character defamation and scurrilous personal attacks."
In letters to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, the League expressed concern at "the increasingly angry and destructive personal tone some supporters of the presidential candidates have taken" and urged the candidates to refrain from resorting to "harsh, personal attacks" on the hustings, through surrogates or in campaign commercials.
The letters were dispatched to both candidates on the eve of the final nationally televised presidential debate Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in New York.
"While we understand well the fast-paced dynamics and intensity of an election campaign, we urge you to continue to be sensitive to the potential impact of harsh, personal attacks – including unfounded accusations designed to foment doubts about an opponent's morality or patriotism," wrote Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"The rigors of competition for public office can bring out both the best and the worst in our political system. It is critically important for all candidates to reject the unprincipled appeals of those who would exploit voters' fears, frustrations and prejudices," they added.
The letters to Senators Obama and McCain were made public on the League's Web site.
As a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the Anti-Defamation League neither endorses nor opposes candidates for public office.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.