Deal Criticizes Jason Carter In Light Of Grandfather’s Comments On Israel

Aug 6, 2014

State Sen. Jason Carter, left, and Gov. Nathan Deal.

Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday said Jason Carter, his Democratic challenger in this year’s gubernatorial race, must answer for his famous grandfather’s recent statements on Israel.

Deal singled out an Aug. 4 opinion piece in which former President Jimmy Carter accuses both Israel and Hamas of deliberately targeting civilians.

Deal criticized Jason Carter for remaining silent in light of the comments.

“He has taken the position that his grandfather is his greatest support mechanism," said Deal. "I would like to know where he stands on his grandfather’s pronouncements most recently as I read one of the articles classifying the acts of the Israelis in protecting themselves as amounting to war crimes. I certainly don’t agree with things like that. I think they’re inflammatory and I don’t think they’re true.”

Deal last week authored an opinion piece taking issue with Israel’s critics, some of whom, he said, were masking “ill-concealed anti-Semitism.” Deal wrote it reminded him of Jimmy Carter’s past references to Israel as an apartheid state, which the former president apologized for in 2012.

Jason Carter’s camp emailed the following response:

“This campaign is about Georgia families. We’re running on Jason’s vision for the future, while Gov. Deal is trying to distract voters from his pathetic record that has left Georgia ranked near the bottom in joblessness and education.”

In the past, Jason Carter has spoken of his “powerful connection” with Israel and said he opposes any efforts to isolate or delegitimize the Jewish state.

Deal also commented on the Carter campaign’s claim he missed an excessive amount of votes as a state lawmaker and congressman.

Originally, Deal’s camp criticized Jason Carter for skipping key votes as a state senator and dodging tough decisions. Carter’s camp shot back that it was inaccurate and hypocritical.

Deal defended his record, saying most of the votes he missed as a congressman were on non-controversial issues.

And as a state senator, Deal said: “I would suggest that [Carter] recall that for those last two years I was the president pro tem of the Senate. And the president pro tem is often called upon to preside in the absence of the lieutenant governor and when you’re in the presiding officer chair you don’t vote.”

Carter’s camp countered that even when taking into account the days Deal was presiding over the Senate, he still missed an excessive amount of votes.