Lieberman: Democratic Party is not anti-Jewish, but some members say anti-Semitic things

Lieberman: Democratic Party is not anti-Jewish, but some members say anti-Semitic things
© Getty

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who was once a Democrat, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the Democratic Party "is not an anti-Jewish party" but that it has members who say anti-Semitic things.

"The Democratic Party is not an anti-Jewish party, but there are some people in the party now, including in Congress as we've seen from Congresswoman Omar...who are saying explicitly anti-Semitic things," Lieberman, who is Jewish, said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. 

Lieberman was referring to remarks from Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib faces strong primary challenger MORE (D-Minn.) in recent weeks that were widely panned by lawmakers from both parties as involving anti-Semitic tropes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, Democrats have pushed back in recent days on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE after he accused the Democratic Party earlier this month of being "anti-Jewish." 

“His comments show the president is only interested in playing the politics of division and not in fighting anti-Semitism. Mr. President, you have redefined chutzpah," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMeadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program Senators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery MORE (D-N.Y.) said last week.

Lieberman, a centrist who ran for vice president on Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreWould Kamala Harris be disloyal if she were VP? Congressman John Lewis: A champion for civil rights and environmental justice Dancing with no rhythm: Republican candidates resemble Elaine on Seinfeld MORE's Democratic ticket in 2000, weighed in after Trump this week continued promoting a "Jexodus" or push for a "Jewish exodus" from the Democratic Party.

“'Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party. We saw a lot of anti Israel policies start under the Obama Administration, and it got worsts & worse. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people,'” Trump tweeted Tuesday, quoting activist Elizabeth Pipko.

He urged Jewish voters to become Republicans again on Friday, implying that Republicans have been more supportive of Israel.

"The ‘Jexodus’ movement encourages Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party. Total disrespect! Republicans are waiting with open arms," he tweeted. "Remember Jerusalem (U.S. Embassy) and the horrible Iran Nuclear Deal!"

While doing exit polling during the 2018 midterms, CNN found that 79 percent of Jewish respondents said they voted for Democrats while 17 percent said they voted for Republicans. 

Trump's comments were sparked by remarks by Omar. The freshman lawmaker sparked backlash when she equated support for Israel to allegiance with a foreign country. Her supporters said she was criticizing the Israel lobby, but opponents slammed her remark as playing into an anti-Semitic "dual loyalty" trope.