Ali Hasan, former candidate for state treasurer and scion of the wealthy Hasans behind the GOP-backing Hasan Family Foundation, has posted a sharp rebuke of Jane Norton’s U.S. Senate campaign at the Colorado Statesman website today.
“Nothing has hurt the GOP more than Republican candidates who appear senseless or racist — Jane Norton, candidate for the U.S. Senate, has managed to appear as both,” he writes.
At issue is Norton’s controversial war on terror messaging. A new Norton foreign policy statement and video ad blasts the Obama administration as soft on terror, saying liberals have forgotten the 9/11 attacks. Offended Democrats and veterans groups have demanded she take down the ad, arguing that it’s beyond inappropriate to call into question patriotism or concerns for national safety or reverence for the 9/11 dead based on difference in policy.
Hasan goes one further, pointing out that the fear mongering Norton has resorted to is also racist, that she sweepingly attacks “Islam” as a stand in for “terrorism” in an attempt to trade on religious ignorance and bias:
In a redesign of her campaign theme, Norton’s Web site now carries a video that starts with the bold quote, “OBAMA DOCTRINE TO MAKE CLEAR NO WAR ON ISLAM — REUTERS, 5.26.10.” The quote plays over a chorus of dark sounds, communicating that Norton disagrees with Obama — she doesn’t want to go to war against ‘radical Islam’ or ‘fundamentalist Muslims’ — no, Norton wants to go after “Islam.”
As the video plays, one waits for explanation of why all Muslims should be slaughtered, but Norton offers nothing. Is her desire to kill all Muslims based on the fact that many Muslims have brown skin? Or that some speak with accents? Or that some wear turbans? The fact that the quote was displayed without direct explanation leaves the door open to assume that Norton is a racist.
But more importantly, as a lifelong Republican, who was born and raised in Colorado, and as a practicing Muslim, I founded the groups Muslims For America and Muslims For Bush, with the hope of getting more Muslims in America involved, and potentially, registered into the Republican fabric. And nothing undoes this hard work more than politicians who seek division over wisdom. It is one of the reasons why I remain proud of my endorsement of Ken Buck over Norton, because Buck has a record of reaching out to Muslims in Weld County and getting to know them, demonstrating the kind of politician who will strengthen the GOP — someone with wisdom who builds bridges, not barriers.
Overall, I would say my mother surmises it best — in watching Norton’s new commercial, my mother said, “Well, there’s 57 Muslims countries. I guess Jane should just pick one and get started.”
Jane, good luck.
So far Norton has defied calls to take down the ad. “It’s staying up,” her campaign said. Norton has gone equally negative in her primary battle against Buck, calling him corrupt and ethically challenged in a series of media appearances and in campaign ads like the one posted on the radio Tuesday.
Once the frontrunner in the primary race, Norton has steadily lost ground. Buck is now up strong double digits in the polls. He won a slim victory in the caucus voting in March and a landslide in the delegate voting in the GOP state assembly in May. Norton chose not to participate in the assembly. Norton’s enormous lead in fundraising has also dwindled.