The Texas GOP’s No Jews Policy: ‘Christian Conservatives’ Only Please
December 5, 2010
(Chattah Box Political News)—The battle for the position of Republican Speaker of the Texas State House has received national attention, because of ugly and blatant anti-Semitism advanced not only by tea party groups but by an official from the State Republican Party. The leading candidate for Speaker is conservative State Rep. Joe Straus, who happens to be Jewish. But teapartiers want a more right-wing Speaker. And in the tea party’s campaign against Straus, they have been distributing bigoted anti-Semitic emails demanding a “true Christian speaker.” One email said “Straus is going down in Jesus’ name.” The campaign got so ugly that Republican lawmakers tried to distance themselves from the emails. But John Cook, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee wrote in an email that he wanted a “true Christian, conservative” as Speaker. And when confronted by a reporter from the Texas Observer, Cook doubled down on his insistence that Republican leaders be Christians. But he denied he was a bigot, because—ready for it? He said some of his best friends are Jews. Oh, boy.
Cook told Observer reporter Abby Rapoport that he only supports Christian conservatives, because they “do the best jobs over all.” He said he has nothing against Jews, but you know, he just doesn’t want any in public office.
“When I got involved in politics, I told people I wanted to put Christian conservatives in leadership positions,” he told me, explaining that he only supports Christian conservative candidates in Republican primary races.
“I want to make sure that a person I’m supporting is going to have my values. It’s not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right. … I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.” [...]
“Cook said his opposition was not about Straus’ religion, although he prefers Christian candidates.”
“They’re some of my best friends,” he said of Jews, naming two friends of his. “I’m not bigoted at all; I’m not racist.”
Nope, no bigotry here.