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A day ahead of Hanukkah, one of the entertainment industry’s most vocal opponents of Barack Obama criticized the president for celebrating the Jewish holiday 12 days too early.
“You want me to tell you the truth? I don’t think he cares, or knows or remembers which Hanukkah it is, or what Hanukkah means,” Jackie Mason said on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio on WABC in New York on Monday.
Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and several guests, celebrated Hanukkah at the White House on Dec 8, reportedly so that it wouldn’t interfere with the First Family’s Hawaiian vacation plans.
“We’re jumping the gun just a little bit,” Obama joked during the early celebration. “The way I see it, we’re just extending the holiday spirit. We’re stretching it out. But we do have to be careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight.”
Video is below.
Obama then added: “So while it is not yet Hanukkah, let’s give thanks for our blessings, for being together to celebrate this wonderful holiday season, and, you know, we never need an excuse for a good party.”
On Monday, radio-host Aaron Klein referred to Mason as the Ultimate Jew, then the 75-year-old comedian ripped into Obama for taking the Jewish holiday too lightly.
“I don’t even think he knew that he was talking about something that’s Jewish. It could have been Muslim, it could have been all together a religion he never even heard of. He doesn’t know, he doesn’t care. He’s strictly in there to take a picture, and the picture could have been about anything,” Mason said.
Audio is above. Hanukkah discussion begins at 5:55.
Mason said the White-House Hanukkah celebration was a public-relations ploy designed to boost the president’s support among Jews. In September, Gallup reported that Obama’s disapproval rating in that demographic had risen eight percentage points to 40 percent in a four-month period.
“A bunch of advisors, most of whom are Jewish anyways – because he has more Jews in his cabinet than Netanyahu. He’s jammed up with Jews all around him – and they told him, if you wanna get them back, Hanukkah is a good idea,” Mason told Klein and his audience Monday. “You don’t have to go any place. We’ll put down the tchotchke and you’ll see a candle, you’ll light it from this side, and that’s enough information for him to accumulate without a teleprompter. So he did it in 10 minutes.”
Klein ended the interview with: “Well, he’s definitely getting 100 percent of the Muslim Brotherhood vote.”
Mason is one of the most outspoken of the few out-of-the-closet conservatives in Hollywood, though Monday he was also critical of Newt Gingrich, joking on the radio show that the Republican presidential hopeful should hold a debate with himself because of the contradictory positions he has taken over the years.
“He was the greatest speaker, but he was thrown out as a speaker. He’s the greatest consultant, but he had three marriages already. And, while he was calling (President Bill) Clinton a filthy person, he was living a filthy life himself,” Mason said of Gingrich.
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