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Joe Kaufman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz challenger, explains his Daily Show fiasco

Joe Kaufman, Republican congressional candidate from Broward, became the butt of a Daily Show joke when asked by Jason Jones to define a simple word in the name of his Islam-bashing group, Americans Against Hate.

Jones: What is your definition of "against?"

Kaufman: Ahh....(pause)....What is the definition of "against?"

Jones: Yeah

Kaufman: Ahh.... going against something that you believe is wrong

Jones: Well, you just used the same word

Kaufman: I know. But I don't exactly have a dictionary in front of me to figure that out

But, for now, this is a win for Kaufman. Getting mocked on liberal-leaning Daily Show isn't bad for a Republican (more here). And being an Islam basher isn't a killer in heavily Jewish South Florida. But it's a pretty disastrous prospect to be defined as an object of mockery, even if Kaufman was caught off guard. If Kaufman makes it out of the primary, he'll likely go up against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who's not just beloved in her heavily liberal district. She can define words like "against."

Here's Kaufman's press release, explaining himself:


With the intention of exposing and helping to bring national attention to the infiltration of Islamist groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Brotherhood, I agreed to do an interview with Comedy Central’s Daily Show, which was to take place on October 25th. The piece aired January 5th.

For over two hours, I was asked questions about my run for Congress against Debbie Wasserman Schultz and my thoughts regarding the Broward Republican Party’s refusal to grant membership to local CAIR leader Nezar Hamze.

I had been outspoken against Hamze gaining a position in the party, due to the extremist nature of the organization he represents and due to his own radical past. I had distributed information to party members detailing these facts (See attachment of flyer).

According to Hamze, he had been "encouraged" to join the Republican Party by Javier Manjarres, a campaign staffer for one of my opponents in the upcoming Republican Primary, Karen Harrington. It is the opinion of many that Manjarres, who has a criminal background, attempted to destroy the local GOP by bringing Hamze in. It backfired, as Hamze was voted down 158 to 11. 

Upset, Manjarres - defending Hamze - complained to the Miami Heraldthat the vote was a “set up.” He said the Republican Party was practicing “bigotry.”

Prior to the vote, I had the chance to formally ask Hamze, in front of the party, if he would support either Allen West or myself for Congress and if he was a supporter of terrorism. He declined to answer the questions.* Indeed, Hamze has in the recent past been fervently outspoken against Congressman West and other prominent Republicans, including Adam Hasner. *[reporter's note: It's a suspect claim to say Hamze refused to say he was against terrorism]

Following the vote, I praised local party leaders and members for how they conducted themselves during the voting process. I stated that groups connected to terrorism should have no role in the Republican Party and should not exist within the United States.

Although the Daily Show segment skewed the serious nature of the subject of CAIR and radical Islamic outfits and edited out so much of what I had to say, we can now hope this small shred of national exposure can begin the serious dialogue on the truth regarding these groups. 

Make note, the only reason why I did this show was to have another opportunity to speak out against the hate and terror of CAIR and the like. For the past ten years, I have devoted my life to exposing these groups, and I am extremely proud of the work I have done to help protect the nation I grew up in and love.

I have never been afraid of the terror-related groups I write and speak about, even after receiving numerous threats. I most certainly will never be afraid of doing a comedy show.

Joe Kaufman