News4's Northern Virginia Bureau covers the races

Dems: Cuccinelli Supporter Made Anti-Semitic Joke

By Julie Carey
|  Thursday, Oct 31, 2013  |  Updated 2:31 PM EDT
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Dems: Cuccinelli Supporter Made Anti-Semitic Joke

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Democrats are putting a spotlight on what they say was an anti-Semitic joke made by a Ken Cuccinelli supporter who was warming up the crowd before the Republican Gubernatorial candidate arrived at a Sterling rally Tuesday.

Tenth Congressional District Republican Party Chairman John Whitbeck told the waiting crowd that he is a Catholic and then proceeded to tell a joke about "the head of the Jewish faith" presenting the new Pope with a bill for the Last Supper.

A Democratic tracker videotaped the event and Whitbeck's joke was posted on YouTube.

Democratic State Senator Adam Ebbin issued a statement calling on Ken Cuccinelli to apologize.

"Why Ken Cuccinelli and his political allies think its appropriate to open a political rally with a mean-spirited joke using the lowest stereotypes of Jewish people is beyond comprehension," wrote Ebbin. "Statements like these are divisive, offensive and below the standard we set for our political discourse."

The Cuccinelli campaign distanced itself from Whitbeck's comments.

“I don’t even know who the guy is. It’s wholly inappropriate and not connected to the campaign. And it’s not reflective of Ken Cuccinelli," said Chris LaCivita, a Cuccinelli campaign strategist.

But it's not just the Cuccinelli campaign taking heat for ethnic references. Republicans cite a recent Washington Post story that says during a meeting with the Northern Virginia Technology Council's TechPAC, McAuliffe responded to a question about how he'd accomplish goals as governor by citing his Irish Catholic heritage and saying he'd be good at taking people out for drinks.

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