Democratic candidates vying for Connecticut’s US Senate, which is being vacated by retiring US Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, are not sure their colleague Lee Whitnum should be allowed to participate in future live televised debates, after she called US Rep. Chris Murphy a “whore” for his support of Israel, during a Thursday debate sponsored by NBC Connecticut.
“I’m dealing with a whore here who sells his soul to AIPAC, who will say anything for the job,” she said about Murphy’s strong support for Israel.
She also suggested another candidate, State Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, was “ignorant,” after he voiced his support for Murphy’s point.
Earlier in the debate Whitnum said that if the US stop its support for Israel, this could mean an additional $600 million in federal funds for Connecticut, for fixing its schools and bridges.
In fact, Whitnum said she was suing the federal government to make it do just that – divert funds from foreign aid to Israel to Connecticut.
“The Jewish community has always taken care of its own. There isn’t any reason why Connecticut children and Connecticut people have to pay the price for a country that is not impoverished,” Whitnum said.
When she was not invited to the previous Democratic debate, Whitnum sued to be included, but the court rejected her suit.
With an eye to the Arab vote in Connecticut (between 1.5% and 2% of the state of some 3.5 million are of Arab descent), Whitnum also proposed that the US prosecute American settlers who “go to Israel and maim or kill in the Promised Land.” She said this “would solve anti-American sentiments worldwide. This is the number one reason why people hate this country.”
A visit to Whitnum’s campaign website reveals a staunch anti-Israeli forcus. Her front page declares:
Although I discuss more than 60 issues on this website, these are the most important items on my agenda:
My First Senate Bill: Prosecute American Settler Violence (also known as the anti-Zionism bill).
My Second Senate Bill: Stop the Clear-Cutting of our Oceans.
My Third Senate Bill: Abolish the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
My Fourth Senate Bill: Stop the gas chambers for our pets.
Perhaps the last item was added to show that, although the candidate opposes Israel, she is decidedly against gas chambers…
Congressman Murphy replied that Israel needs support from the United States now more than ever.
“This is in our national security interest, ultimately in the interest of US taxpayers, to have a strong relationship with Israel, and I think it is worth saying on this stage that a lot of her comments have been out of bounds and over the line,” said Murphy, who along with former Secretary of the State of Connecticut Susan Bysiewicz are the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination.
In his final comments, Murphy said that he had “advocated for all the candidates to be a part of these debates,” but now he “might think twice about that, with that kind of awful language being used on the airwaves.”
Bysiewicz, Tong and candidate Matthew Oakes all expressed disgust over Whitnum’s comments.