Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat'

California Democrats slammed Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterCan Carl DeMaio save the California GOP? The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Issa says he will run for Congress if not confirmed to trade post by Nov. 3 MORE (R-Calif.) after he called his 2020 challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Christian of Mexican and Palestinian descent, a “national security threat.”

Reps. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) and Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report — The wall problem confronting Dems and the latest on Dorian Dem Rep. Susan Davis announces she will not seek reelection MORE (D-Calif.) told Roll Call that Hunter should stop relying on such attacks to undercut Campa-Najjar, who also ran against Hunter in 2018. 

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“Both Campa-Najjar and Hunter were born in San Diego, and I believe that Hunter’s racist line of attack against a fellow American is beneath the office he holds,” said Levin. 

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and someone who endorsed Ammar, I condemn these baseless attacks against him,” Davis added. “These kinds of attacks based on bigotry and fear have no place in any campaign.”

Hunter sent out a fundraising email earlier this week that accused Campa-Najjar of being boosted by “supporters” of the PLO, according to Politico

The California Republican highlighted Campa-Najjar’s background in the 2018 race in an attempt to connect him to terrorism.

“Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress … His grandfather masterminded the Munich Olympic massacre. His father said they ‘all deserve to die,’ ” a campaign ad said.

Campa-Najjar has distanced himself from his grandfather’s participation in the terrorist attack that killed 11 Israeli Olympic athletes.

“As an American citizen living in the 21st century, I will never be able to understand or condone the actions and motivations of my grandfather,” he told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year

“He knows I served in the White House and the administration, meaning I was given a security clearance by the Secret Service after a thorough background check. He knows I'm not responsible for my family's actions, just like his wife isn't responsible for his.” Campa-Najjar said in a statement to The Hill about the ad.

Hunter defeated Campa-Najjar by less than 4 points last year despite being indicted on dozens of federal charges over allegedly spending campaign funds for personal purposes.