“This was an ad that was seen by thousands of Georgians. It was a fundraising ad,” said Ossoff. “I ask Senator Perdue to take the money he raised, using this manipulated image of my face, and to donate that money to groups that promote community healing and community unity and tolerance. Because after these past four years, that’s what that we need here in this country now as much as ever. “
Perdue’s campaign did not immediately respond to a call to donate the money. But in a statement originally sent out Monday night, the campaign said Ossoff’s nose enlargement was inadvertently done by a vendor, and that Perdue had not seen the ad in question before it was released online. His campaign did not say whether it would sever ties to the seller.
“In the graphic design process handled by a third-party vendor, the photo was resized and a filter applied, which appears to have caused an unintended error that distorted the image,” Casey Black, a Perdue spokesperson, said in a statement. Obviously, this was accidental, but to ensure there is absolutely no confusion, we have immediately removed the Facebook image. Anyone who implies that this was more than an inadvertent mistake is intentionally misrepresenting Senator Perdue’s strong and consistent record of being firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred. “
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Ben Fry, campaign manager for Perdue, said the campaign would part ways with its digital consultant due to the announcement, calling it “an unfortunate and unnoticed mistake.”
“Senator Perdue did not know or see the announcement before it was published, and is committed to ensuring that future errors of this kind do not occur,” said Fry.
The campaign also noted a statement by former Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Who heads the Republican Jewish Coalition, who said Perdue is “a person of honor and high integrity,” and that the charges of anti-Semitism are simply untrue. ” .
Ossoff and Perdue face off in a competitive race that could generate tens of millions of dollars in external spending and potentially tip the balance of power in the Senate next year.
In his original statement Monday night, Ossoff called the enlarged nose “the oldest, most obvious, and least original anti-Semitic trope in history.” His Democratic allies echoed the condemnation of his campaign.
Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party, asked Perdue to apologize and fire the vendor responsible for the ad. A spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee criticized the senator and said he refused to take responsibility for the announcement. Ossoff’s campaign also shared statements from the Anti-Defamation League and the leader of the local chapter of the American Jewish Committee condemning the announcement.