On Monday, the White House chastised the Republican National Committee chair for saying on television that the recent attacks in Israel were a “great opportunity” for GOP candidates.
Ronna McDaniel, responding to a question from Fox News’ Griff Jenkins on Saturday about how candidates were responding to the warfare, said that Hamas’ all-out attack on Israel over the weekend provided a critical opportunity for Republicans vying for the presidency to make their case for why a Republican president should lead the country next.
“I think this is a great opportunity for our candidates to contrast where Republicans have stood with Israel, time and time again, and Joe Biden has been weak,” McDaniel said in a statement. “And when America is weak, the rest of the world is less safe.” This is evident not only in the Ukraine conflict and an emboldened China, but also in an attack on Israel.”
Two days after McDaniel’s remarks, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates stated, “No one can ever welcome this kind of hideous behavior or attempt to divide the country when we need to be united.”
“At least nine Americans have lost their lives in these brutal terrorist attacks against the State of Israel,” Bates said in a press release. “Hundreds of more innocent people have been killed.” While some people, such as Ronna McDaniel, may see the loss of life and pain as a “great opportunity,” most Americans see it as a horrific tragedy. As the administration assists the Israeli Defense Force, all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should stand shoulder to shoulder with one of our closest allies.
In response to the White House’s remarks about McDaniel, RNC Spokesperson Emma Vaughn told Insider that it is “despicable that the media is twisting Chairman McDaniel’s words and providing cover for Democrats who have repeatedly attacked Israel’s right to exist.”
“The RNC and Chairman McDaniel have long been fierce advocates for Israel, its people, and condemned the attacks immediately,” Vaughn said in a statement.
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Dan Goldman of New York were in Israel when the attacks began on Saturday but have since returned safely to the United States.
While the Biden administration is reportedly planning to send military and financial aid to Israel, the House is currently without a full-fledged speaker, and the Senate is on recess this week, potentially hampering the US’s ability to provide immediate assistance.