Prominent Republicans took to Twitter yesterday, condemning the Paul Ryan-backed Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund’s first attack on Tom Malinowski, Democratic Nominee in New Jersey 7th Congressional District.
The ad, released on Thursday, asserted that Tom was a “Lobbyist for Terrorist Rights,” a reference to the 2005 bipartisan effort led by Tom, Senator John McCain, and a coalition of high-ranking retired military officers to ban torture by the U.S. government to prevent the same tactics from being used against American servicemen and women captured by the enemy. The torture ban was supported by 90 Senators and 308 members of the House, including Paul Ryan.
John McCain’s Chief of Staff, Mark Salter, and John Weaver, who managed McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as chief strategist to Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign in 2016, praised Tom’s work with leaders of both parties to ban torture and condemned the Congressional Leadership Fund’s attack.
Re-tweeting Tom, Senator McCain’s former foreign policy advisor Richard Fontaine also condemned the attack and praised Tom’s bipartisan approach and commitment to core American values.
“Tom’s work with Senator McCain made America and our troops safer. Denigrating work done in defense of national security and American values is indefensible, but sadly typical of Lance and House Republicans desperate to keep him in office,” said Colston Reid, Malinowski’s Campaign Manager.
In addition to the overwhelming bipartisan support the ban received from Congress in 2005, Trump’s current Secretary of Defense and former US Marine Corps General James Mattis is a fervent opponent of the use of torture.
“I am proud of my work with Senator McCain to ban torture, and that our efforts received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate,” Malinowski said. “If Lance truly believes this is something I should be ashamed of, would he have joined the minority of House members who voted to continue to put American troops in harm’s way to defend torture?”