Republican Kevin McCarthy is offering an unconvincing defense of his own anti-Semitism.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is trying to defend a tweet he wrote during last year's midterms, which was widely condemned for perpetuating an anti-Semitic stereotype.
McCarthy's tweet accused George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer of trying to "BUY this election!" Soros and Bloomberg are both Jewish. (Steyer, whose father was Jewish, is often misidentified in the media as Jewish.)
McCarthy's defense comes as he has been leading a campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for comments she made about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, which some have criticized as also anti-Semitic.
In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, McCarthy insisted that his tweet of Oct. 24, 2018, which he subsequently deleted amid massive outrage, "had nothing to do about faith."
"That was about Republicans versus Democrats," McCarthy said. "Michael Bloomberg put in $54 million dollars into the campaign just in the last couple weeks in 24 districts. All I was pointing out was, money that Republicans and Democrats were spending to defeat one another."
McCarthy then offered a bizarre non sequitur to defend himself, saying that "one of the greatest joys" of his job is leading a trip to Israel.
"This had nothing to do about faith," he concluded. "This had to do about party and a campaign."
McCarthy never explained — nor was he asked by Fox host Harris Faulkner — why he deleted his October tweet after it was so widely criticized for being anti-Semitic.
The double standard Republicans are trying to apply to Omar is reminding the country that Republicans were happy to campaign on anti-Semitism.
McCarthy's October tweet came at the same time that National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's campaign arm, released an ad targeting Soros, referencing well-worn anti-Jewish tropes, showing Soros sitting behind piles of money.
Even after a mass shooter, who believed similar conspiracy theories about Soros, attacked and killed innocent people worshipping in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the NRCC defended the ad as "factual."
In 2016, Trump's campaign repeatedly associated itself with anti-Semitism. Trump tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton with piles of money and a Jewish star, attacking her as "corrupt."
An ad from his campaign showed images of Soros alongside other prominent Jews as the voiceover from Trump warned about "global special interests."
His campaign even had its surrogates appear on a radio show with a neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier.
McCarthy, who was House majority leader at the time, never condemned or spoke out against Trump's incidents of anti-Semitism.
Now he's attacking Omar and demanding serious consequences for her tweets, while ignoring the anti-Semitism in his own party and offering incredible rationalizations for his own flirtation with anti-Semitism.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.