1:21 PM, Apr 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Walter B. Jones, the longtime Republican congressman from North Carolina, is facing a tough primary challenge. Jones has made his anti-war stance central to his political identity, and Peter Hamby of CNN reports on how Jones is being challenged on his position on Iraq and Afghanistan:
At first, Jones backed the military action; he's perhaps most famous for proposing that French fries in the House cafeteria be re-named "freedom fries" in protest of France's opposition to the war. But after attending a memorial service for a Marine sergeant from his district, Jones had a remarkable change of heart. He became a sharp critic of President George W. Bush's foreign policy and began supporting Democratic efforts to withdraw troops from Iraq. In private, Jones was writing thousands of apology letters to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the years since, Jones has ramped up his anti-war rhetoric and his fierce opposition to foreign aid, drawing the ire of a hawkish outside group that's now running blistering television ads against him in the primary. "Lyndon Johnson's probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney," Jones said at a Young Americans for Liberty conference in Raleigh. Jones supported Ron Paul, the anti-war libertarian icon, for president. Today, he's a board member on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
The Emergency Committee For Israel, a neoconservative pro-Israel group, has spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on a pair of ominous television ads hammering Jones, saying he "preaches American decline" and opposes sanctions on Iran. "He's changed," one ad says. "Isn't it time your vote changed as well?"
But Hamby points out it isn't just foreign policy:
Another outside group, the Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC founded by billionaire businessman Joe Ricketts, has invested even more money attacking Jones on the airwaves and in the mail.
"Congressman Jones has opposed the Ryan budget," said Brian Baker, the group's president. "It's pretty simple. Congressman Jones is the No. 1 supporter of the President in the House Republican Conference, and we oppose his re-election for those reasons."
Read the whole story here.
The anti-war Republican may be getting a primary challenge.3:52 PM, May 1, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina occupies a strange place on the spectrum of American politics. An 18-year House veteran from the conservative coast, Jones is a pro-life former Democrat, raised Baptist but a Catholic convert. The 70-year-old Republican’s biggest claim to fame may have come in 2003 when France decided not to participate in the American-led coalition invading Iraq. In a moment of patriotic pique, Jones, following the lead of a diner in his district, directed the House cafeterias to rename French fries as “freedom fries.”
California's John Campbell explains why he wants the United States out of Afghanistan.3:39 PM, Mar 11, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
It may have been his hardest vote yet. When he walked onto the House floor on March 10, John Campbell, Republican of California, wasn't sure how he'd vote on Dennis Kucinich's resolution to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. He had agonized over the decision all week. In his view, the language of the resolution was too strict. It tied the president's hands. Campbell had decided the day before that he wouldn't vote No, however. Even so, the temptation remained to simply vote Present. Except there'd be no courage to that vote, he thought. Which is why Campbell ultimately voted Yes.
The vote made Campbell one of five Republicans calling for an immediate withdrawal from the central front of the war on terror. His compatriots -- Ron Paul, Walter Jones, Tim Johnson, and John Duncan -- all opposed George W. Bush's Iraq surge. But Campbell, who won a special election to replace outgoing Chris Cox in December 2005, supported the surge and says "Iraq was winnable and has strategic value." He reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same cannot be said of Afghanistan.
Bipartisanship in foreign policy.10:27 AM, Mar 11, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Last night, the House rejected a resolution calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan, 65-356. Sixty Democrats voted for withdrawal. Five Republicans joined them. The five GOP votes for withdrawal came from (duh) Ron Paul of Texas, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of Illinois, John Duncan of Tennessee, and John Campbell of California. Paul, Jones, Johnson, and Duncan all opposed the Iraq surge. Campbell supported it, and as recently as last September said a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan "would be unwise." In a "Laptop Report" last December, Cambell said:
I simply do not believe that we can establish a lasting westernized democracy in a society that has been based on tribal cultural ties for centuries. Furthermore, the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, as well as the porous and uncontrolled border region with Northern Pakistan, makes control of this area exceedingly difficult. Iraq's terrain and culture were and are much more suited to these types of operations. I still believe that there was much strategic value to establishing a friendly Iraqi government in a critical region of the world that includes Iran, Syria, Israel, and others. While I acknowledge the significance of Pakistan’s possession of, by some estimates, as many as 100 nuclear weapons, I just don't believe that control of Afghanistan has the same strategic value.
I'm hoping to speak to Campbell later today and will report back then.
Interestingly, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, voted to reject the measure, even though he has called for withdrawal in the past.
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