UPDATED: Republicans accuse opponents of hypocrisy over Malek, Moran
Thursday seems to be Memory Lane Day in Virginia politics.
First, Democrats here and in Washington have burned up political inboxes with releases about national Republican activist Fred Malek's turn as an aide to President Richard Nixon in the 1970s.
Now, Republicans are showing turn-about-is-fair-play and asking Virginia Democrats: What about Rep. Jim Moran?
In a release headlined, "Democrats See Problems Everywhere -- Except When They Are In Their Own Party," the Republican Party of Virginia accuses the state's Democrats of seeing "corruption and racism hiding almost everywhere" but being silent about issues involving Moran.
The GOP accuses Moran having "a singular gift for winding up in ethics investigations" and "a record of anti-Jewish remarks that speak for themselves."
UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is Jewish, has released a statement blasting the Democrats for dwelling on Malek's Nixon era past. He said in a statement: "Fred Malek has acknowledged that he has made mistakes, has taken responsibility for those mistakes, and has said he's learned from them. There is no reason for anyone to believe otherwise. Meanwhile, oil continues to spew into the Gulf. Our national debt is increasing by nearly $5 billion per day and just soared past $13 trillion. Far too many Americans remain out of work. Terrorists are plotting this very second to kill Americans. With all of these challenges, it is beyond belief that Democrats are focusing their energy on the Nixon Administration."
"I was 5 years old when Richard Nixon was elected, and frankly I cannot understand how rehashing the wrongs of his Administration will help solve the serious challenges facing America today. President Obama was elected in 2008 in part because he chose to look forward instead of back -- and it seems as though both he and his party are forgetting that lesson."
UPDATE 2:01 p.m. June 4: We heard from Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) today, one of the other Democrats the Republicans accused of silence on Moran, who reminded us that he, in fact, backed Moran's primary opponent in 2004 over this issue. "Unsurprisingly, the Republican Party of Virginia has its facts wrong," Englin said in a statement. "Because of Congressman Moran's comments about Jews and the Iraq War, I publicly supported his 2004 primary opponent, Andy Rosenberg. That hardly constitutes 'silence.' However, it's absurd and offensive to suggest moral equivalence between anything he has said in the past and Fred Malek, who -- as the newly declassified documents reveal -- zealously purged Jews from government and then lied about it for decades."
Moran has indeed angered Jewish groups in the past, particularly for remarks at a 2003 forum in which he said if not for the "the strong support of the Jewish community," the country wouldn't be going to war with Iraq. Moran apologized for the remark but landed in hot water again with a 2007 magazine article complaining about the power of the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC.
"Virginia Democrats are the first to the microphone when they think they can score points against Republicans. But when they have gargantuan ethical violations in their own house, the only noise is crickets," the Republicans write.
We've reached out to Moran's office for response. One of the Virginia Delegates cited by the RPV for silence about Moran, Del. Scott Surovell (D) said he did not believe the comparison was fair. "Moran made a statement at a forum," he said. "How is that comparable to making lists and purging Jews from government?"
June 3, 2010; 4:43 PM ET
Categories: James P. Moran Jr. , Rosalind Helderman
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