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GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel

GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Jason LewisJason Mark LewisThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden prepare to make final pitches to voters Minnesota Senate candidate Jason Lewis undergoes 'successful' hernia surgery MORE (R-Minn.), who is running for Senate in Minnesota, said in 2013 that the Republican Party had "dual loyalties" to Israel, according to CNN.

The U.S.'s continued support of Israel, Lewis said on a radio show in February 2013, was due to a "very strong American Jewish lobby," and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He added that many in the party viewed Israel as the "51st state." 

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Lewis's comments were backing Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelArmy taps University of Wisconsin to lead research into hybrid vehicles, aircraft While our foes deploy hypersonic weapons, Washington debates about funding Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers MORE, who underwent scrutiny during his 2013 confirmation process for his use of the phrase "Jewish lobby" in 2006, The Washington Post reported then

When questioned about his past words, Lewis called inquiries "pathetic" and "worn-out." 

"Actions speak louder than words, and the action that Congressman Lewis took in the 115th Congress to strengthen and support the U.S.- Israeli relationship is virtually unmatched, evidenced by his voting record," Lewis's campaign manager Tom Szymanski said in an email to The Hill. "The voters of Minnesota will see right through these false attacks next November."

Lewis then called out Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez: Republicans don't believe Democrats 'have the stones to play hardball' Progressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates MORE (D-Minn.), characterizing her criticisms of the country's relationship with Israel "genuinely anti-Israel."

Lewis is one of two candidates campaigning for the Republican nominee and would face Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden prepare to make final pitches to voters Minnesota Senate candidate Jason Lewis undergoes 'successful' hernia surgery MORE (D-Minn.) in the general election. Smith won a special election earlier this year and is serving out the remainder of former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTina Smith and Jason Lewis tied in Minnesota Ted Cruz mocks Al Franken over 'I Hate Ted Cruz Pint Glass' GOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota MORE's term.