During a rally on Tuesday, John Whitbeck, the chairman of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, told a joke about the “head of the Jewish faith” presenting the pope with a “bill for the Last Supper.”
According to Whitbeck, no one should be offended by the joke because he heard it at church. He said, “[I] did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service.”
He added: “Any alleged outrage over this joke has been wholly manufactured by American Bridge, an organization founded by Democrat activist David Brock and funded by Georg[e] Soros. American Bridge, which has the sole purpose of electing Democrats by attacking Republicans, has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to defeating Ken Cuccinelli by any means they deem necessary.”
Whitbeck told the joke at a rally for aforementioned Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. The candidate’s spokesperson quickly said that Cuccinelli didn’t even “know who the guy is,” The Atlantic Wire reported.
Cuccinelli also called the joke inappropriate. “I wasn’t there, but I heard about it that night,” he said. “And obviously I think it was inappropriate and certainly unfortunate — something if I had heard it at the time, I would have spoken to right there. It’s certainly not an appropriate thing to carry into public discussion we’re having.”
Despite Whitbeck’s claim that his humor was on the level, a writer for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency explained why the joke anti-Semitic.
“It’s about Jews presenting the pope with the bill for the Last Supper,” the writer said, “so it packs two of the most toxic anti-Jewish stereotypes into a single punchline: God-killers! Cheapskates!”
Ron Halber, the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, added: “Tenth District Republican Chairman John Whitbeck’s anti-Semitic joke at the opening of an event for Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Cuccinelli has no place in civil political discourse and it was inappropriate and offensive.”
A video of the joke is below: