News & Politics

Congressman: Omar's Israel Criticism Won't Hurt Dems 'Anymore Than' Trump's Charlottesville Reaction Hurts GOP

WASHINGTON — In a recent interview, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) was asked about the effect that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) controversial statements about Israel are having on the Democratic Party.

The New York Times recently ran a story with the headline, “For Democrats, Ilhan Omar Is a Complicated Figure to Defend,” which details the “conflicted embrace” some Democrats have when it comes to the freshman lawmaker. Raskin downplayed concerns related to Omar.

“I don’t think the Democrats will be hurt anymore than the Republicans are hurt because Trump equated Neo-Nazis and Klansman with anti-Nazi protestors. I mean, I would be a lot more worried about that if I were a Republican,” Raskin said during a video interview at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend.

Raskin addressed Omar’s “it’s all about the Benjamins baby” tweet, which referred to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, and said he was “proud” the House passed a resolution that condemned anti-Semitism without mentioning specific individuals.

“I felt like we could spend all of our days chasing around members for the statements that they make or we could have a resolution which expressed what we stand for — equal protection and religious freedom and pluralism and tolerance for everybody and we reject white supremacy and anti-Semitism and racism and anti-Muslim prejudice and I was proud we passed the most comprehensive and vigorous denunciation of anti-Semitism in U.S. history,” Raskin said.