Bloomberg Defends Obama Before Jewish Audience

NEW YORK (AP) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging
Jewish voters to denounce the online whisper campaign that for months has pushed the false rumor that Democrat Barack Obama is
secretly a Muslim.

Bloomberg is speaking to members of a Jewish group in Boca Raton, Fla. He's warning them that the attempt to portray Obama as a shadowy Muslim with a hidden agenda often targets Jewish voters
online and with e-mails.

The mayor says the deceptive campaign against Obama, who is a Christian, threatens to undo the strides that Jews and Muslims have
made together.

The billionaire independent has not endorsed anyone yet in the presidential race. But his powerful defense of Obama Friday could help the Illinois senator in Florida, home to many Jewish voters.

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