ECI Goes After First Republican Target, Ron Paul
Co-founder Gary Bauer attacks ‘isolationist and conspiratorial’ candidate
The Emergency Committee for Israel just released a new advertisement targeting Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate. The group, founded in 2010 by Bill Kristol, is not formally partisan, though it has never endorsed a Democrat and has been outspoken in criticizing President Obama’s Israel policies. Paul is the first Republican the group has targeted, according to executive director Noah Pollak.
The ad (below) is set to run in South Carolina, which hosts its primary, the third Republican contest, on January 21. It features Gary Bauer, the founding board member who worked in the Reagan administration and briefly ran for president in 1999 and 2000, inveighing against Paul’s foreign policy. Notably, Bauer is a strong Christian conservative, and indeed the spot makes a broader case against Paul than might be expected of a group with “Israel” in its name. Says Bauer (my transcription):
I also know that Ron Paul’s conservatism is isolationist and conspiratorial. He’s hostile to our military, hostile to our allies like Israel, and was hostile to great conservatives like Ronald Reagan. He denies that Iran is building nuclear weapons. He says that it was a crime to kill Osama bin Laden. He blames America for creating terrorism. He says that we don’t know the truth of the 9/11 attacks because of a government cover-up. He condemns our ally Israel for defending herself. Ron Paul is not a Reagan Republican. We can do better.
The most logical time for this ad might have been a few weeks ago. Then, it appeared that Paul had a good chance to win last Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses and then make a run for the nomination. But instead he came in a disappointing third place to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (who are both candidates ECI would presumably support), and, now, professional elections-predictor Nate Silver gives Paul only a two percent chance to win South Carolina.
Which is not to say that ECI’s animosity toward Paul is likely newfound. After all, well before Iowa, the Republican Jewish Coalition was going out of its way not to include Paul in its candidates forum. (This blog, also, has long been opposed to Paul, who in the 1990s published newsletters that trafficked in racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic conspiracies.) Most likely, ECI found South Carolina, with its heavily Christian-conservative Republican electorate, a propitious opportunity to sic Bauer on Paul and, it surely hopes, deliver the kill shot.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.