Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Blog

By Jane Kaddouri

That’s what William Runco, Wayne County Republican Committee Chair, said about the Gingrich campaign in Michigan. “Romney has put together a great organization in Michigan… But we think we've got the better message.”

Okay. Let’s check it out. 

As you know, and as AAI has reported, the former House Speaker has had a lot to say lately–a lot that’s of interest to Arab Americans. And, of course, Michigan is home to the nation’s largest concentration of both Arab Americans and American Muslims. And a recent poll had Gingrich leading Romney in Michigan.  Could it be that the good people of the state are fondly remembering how Speaker Gingrich found rooms on Capitol Hill to be used for Friday prayers? Do they recall how Muslims for America, run by Colorado millionaires Malik and Seeme Hassan, promoted Gingrich’s nomination for president in 2007, saying “unlike other politicians, Gingrich does not see us at war with Islam?”

It must be this harkening back to a kinder, gentler Newt that is prompting this showing in the polls. Because if anyone in Michigan was actually listening to him now, he couldn’t possibly be beating his opponents –including the son of the former Governor. Because today’s Newt isn’t finding places for Muslims to pray, he’s suggesting that we treat Muslims the way America treated Nazis during World War II, and the way we treated communists during the Cold War. He’s warning that we might become a country “dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” And, of course, he’s recently pointed out that Palestinians are “an invented people” who happen to all be terrorists.

Is this the better message? Good people of Michigan, can you please tell me this: better than what?

And while we’re at it, can you tell me what else is going on up there?

Last I checked, you were part of the great “democratic experiment” that we call the United States of America. You know… where we have elections.

But the state has now seized control of four local governments (with another 4 in review), replacing elected officials with appointed officials – who have the authority to dissolve city charters.

Michigan boasts one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans and American Muslims in the country.

But nearly half of your State Representatives signed onto an anti-Sharia bill.

Roughly 25% of the state’s population is considered a racial or ethnic minority; 90% in Detroit – the 12th most populous city in the nation.

But Michigan’s redistricting would cut Detroit’s representation in the statehouse by almost half.

And now, the man who is making a campaign out of vilifying Arabs and Muslims, and Palestinians in particular, is the state’s choice for GOP nominee.

Michigan, tell me… did I miss a memo?

Just to be sure that you don’t miss anything, let me tell you—today, AAI’s compilation of the presidential candidates’ statements on our issues went live. We’ll be updating it daily, so take this opportunity to keep track of what’s happening in the debates and interviews. And we’ll be updating you via e-mail about what’s happening in Michigan. Because, with elections less than a year away, you need to know.

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