Vivek Ramaswamy’s New Hampshire campaign state co-chair Bruce Fenton promotes conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terror attacks and says, “Israel is an apartheid state.” Though it is a phrase some Jewish groups have condemned as antisemitic, that didn’t stop Fenton from repeating it on Tuesday.
More significantly, it didn’t keep Ramaswamy from keeping Fenton in his position as Granite State co-chair.
“Vivek just spoke to Bruce and told him very directly that he strongly disagrees with him on this issue, and they left it at that,” campaign spokeswoman Tricia McLaughlin told NHJournal.
Fenton, a libertarian Bitcoin enthusiast, made no secret of his unorthodox political views during his unsuccessful run for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination last year. Fenton supported open borders, full drug legalization, and repealing the 17th Amendment to end the popular election of U.S. senators.
Now, he is serving as state co-chair of the Ramaswamy campaign in New Hampshire alongside fellow 2022 U.S. Senate contender Kevin Smith. And it’s Fenton’s views on the September 11 terror attacks and the nation of Israel that are currently making news.
“Vivek Ramaswamy’s New Hampshire campaign chairman, who hosted an event for the presidential candidate on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, is a 9/11 truther,” the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday. The article quoted multiple social media posts in which Fenton claimed the fact that an airplane hit the Pentagon is in doubt. (It isn’t). Other posts raised questions about what he called the “official story” of the World Trade Center attacks as being dubious or even a fraud.
Fenton was asked on Twitter if his stance meant that the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy and, if they were, “Would that mean it’s one orchestrated by Republicans?”
“Probably,” Fenton replied. “GW Bush was one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had.”
“Israel is an apartheid state,” Fenton posted on social media. Yes, this bothers people. I’m sorry, but it is true.
“Despite U.S. politicians sending billions of U.S. taxpayer worker wages to Israel, an already rich country, and despite the massively powerful AIPAC and other lobbies, most Americans have no clue what the conflict is about. The land we now call Israel was very recently called Palestine and, contrary to propaganda, was not a ‘land without a people,’” Fenton wrote.
When called out on it Tuesday, Fenton doubled down. “Of course, it’s an apartheid state. How is it not?”
The Anti-Defamation League says, “The label is inaccurate, offensive, and often used to delegitimize and denigrate Israel as a whole.”
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said, “To equate the liberal democratic State of Israel with the system of apartheid in South Africa is nothing short of a canard, a libel.”
Last year, the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire hosted an event titled “The World’s Greatest Lie: Israel Is an Apartheid State.”
Fenton pulled down his Tuesday social media post after the Free Beacon published its story. He replaced it with a message sending people to his original comments of July 27. Fenton also declined to respond to requests for comment from NHJournal.
But Ramaswamy is standing by his man.
“This is such a dumb game the media & shallow career politicians play. Guess what? I have volunteers on my campaign whom I don’t agree with on everything,” Ramaswamy posted on social media. “Bruce Fenton is right on Fed policy, Bitcoin, individual liberty, and dismantling the administrative state. Turns out he’s dead wrong on calling Israel an ‘apartheid state.’ It’s a wildly wrong thing to say about the only pluralistic, thriving democracy in the Middle East. But you know what? He’s entitled to that view.”
Asked if that view would get Fenton removed from the New Hampshire state co-chair position, McLaughlin replied, “He is not in a hired position, so he can’t be fired. It’s an honorary position.”
A spokesperson for former Vice President Mike Pence called on Ramaswamy to “disavow” Fenton’s comments.
“Vivek’s campaign staff, coupled w/ his hesitation to send a clear message of support for Israel only emboldens the radical Islamic mullahs in Tehran as they target innocent Americans and threaten to annihilate Israel,” Devin O’Malley said via social media.
So, will Fenton continue to hold the “honor” of representing the campaign as co-chair?
“Bruce got the message loud and clear,” McLaughlin said. “Vivek strongly disagrees with him on this.”