Sat, Mar 25, 2006 at 5:32:41 pm
Imagine if you will the hyperbolic outrage from the left if the Republican party pulled something like this: N.J. Dems Dump Arab-American Candidate.
TRENTON, N.J. - Democrats pulled an Arab-American candidate from their election ticket on Saturday amid a furor over comments he made four years ago that some interpreted as sympathetic to Palestinian suicide bombers.
At the urging of state party leaders, including Gov. Jon S. Corzine and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Passaic County Democrats withdrew its endorsement of Sami Merhi for freeholder, a member of the county’s legislative body. They chose a school board member to run in his place.
“I’m in shock, feeling betrayed,” Merhi said. “They should be ashamed of themselves.”
The Lebanese-born Merhi made the comments at a September 2002 Democratic fundraiser U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (news, bio, voting record), where he condemned the Sept. 11 terrorists “as cold-blooded murders” and “crazy fanatics.”
When asked whether he would apply the same label to Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israelis, Merhi said, “I can’t see the comparison.”
But don’t worry. This isn’t a sudden attack of genuine concern for US security or anything like that.
Merhi said he appealed to them during Saturday’s meeting, saying that he opposes all forms of terrorism and that killing innocent people is always wrong. But, he said, party chairman John Currie told him, “We love you. We all like you. But this is about politics.”