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

California Democrats slammed Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterDesperate in Southern California: Darrell Issa's 'back to the future' primary campaign misfires Democrats running to replace Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins vow to support ethics package California governor won't call special election for Duncan Hunter's seat 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 DavisOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions 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.