One of the most disturbing things to me during any election cycle is the tendency for surrogates of campaigns to drop outrageous talking points to drive home misconceptions and fear that the candidates themselves would never utter. They’re usually far enough away from the candidate – state co-chair, errant campaign worker – that the campaigns can say that they can’t control what comes out of every single spokesperson’s mouth.
However these opportunities occur with such disturbing frequency the closer you get to the actual match-ups, that you really have to wonder whether or not the campaigns don’t offer a sly wink and a nod to them.
The latest entry in fear-mongering cheap shots comes from John Deady, the New Hampshire co-chair of Veterans for Rudy. Mr. Deady was interviewed as part of a series of documentaries The Observer of London is filming in New Hampshire. TPM Election Central’s Greg Sargent reports this:
He’s got I believe the knowledge and the judgement to attack one of the most difficult problems in current history and that is the rise of the Muslims, and make no mistake about it, this hasn’t happened for a thousand years. These people are very dedicated and they’re also very very smart in their own way. We need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or in other words get rid of them.
Here’s the video:
Now you might think this xenophobic utterance is restricted to just the “Islamofacists” or terror jihadists. In an interview with TPM’s Sargent, Deady stands by his comments and then some:
Asked if he stood by his comments in the earlier Guardian interview, Deady said: “I most assuredly do. I’ve been very concerned about this Muslim thing for quite awhile. The average American does not know beans about what the Muslims are about. I am talking about the Muslims in general. I don’t subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims. They’re all Muslims.“
In the earlier interview with The Guardian, Deady said of Muslims: “We need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or in other words get rid of them.”
When I asked Deady to elaborate on his suggestion that we need to “get rid” of Muslims, Deady said: “When I say get rid of them, I wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide. What I was referring to is, stand up to them every time they stick up their heads and attack us. We can’t afford to say, `We’ll try diplomacy.’ They don’t respond to it. If you look into Islamic tradition, a treaty is only good for five years. We’re not dealing with a rational mindset here. We’re dealing with madmen.” When I asked Deady if this was also a reference to all Muslims, he said: “I am talking about Muslims in general.“
So by playing to the fears of those who are awaiting the next 9/11, Deady presses the idea that A) all Muslims lived in caves and need to go back there and B) the Mayor of 9/11 who hopes to be the President of 9/11 is the only one that can protect us from these ungodly, terroristic hoardes that live in our midst!
Rudy’s campaign eventually responded to Deady’s comments, artfully dodging any responsibility for the remarks and certainly not “necessarily referring to genocide”. The New York Daily News got this from the Giuliani campaign:
The Giuliani campaign said it would ask Deady to resign “if these quotes are accurate.” “They are inappropriate and not reflective of our campaign,” said Wayne Semprini, Giuliani’s New Hampshire chairman.
Whew! Glad that’s all straightened out.