Bob Casey Does Delicate Dance With Besieged ‘Squad’ Member Summer Lee

The Pennsylvania senator tries to have it both ways, standing by his endorsement of the anti-Israel Democrat in the face of a primary challenge but keeping his distance, too

Summer Lee and Bob Casey (Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images)

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) over the weekend reiterated his endorsement of Rep. Summer Lee, who is facing a serious primary challenge. At the same time, the senator tried to distance himself from the anti-Israel “Squad” member. Awkward.

Casey told reporters he made his “position on [Lee’s] candidacy known back in 2023″—an apparent reference to Casey’s role on Lee’s reelection host committee in September. But Casey tried to put some daylight between himself and Lee, who faces a tough primary showdown against progressive Bhavini Patel on Tuesday.

“Summer Lee and I don’t agree on every issue,” said Casey. “That’s clear.”

He even seems agnostic about Lee’s fate in Tuesday’s primary.

“Voters now have a chance to make a determination in the Democratic primary, and we’ll see what that result is,” he said.

Casey’s support for Lee, who has emerged as one of Congress’s most anti-Israel voices, could prove a liability as he faces the toughest election of his Senate career. At the same time, Democrats across the country are facing a revolt from the far left over President Joe Biden’s support for Israel.

But if Casey’s endorsement of Lee harms his campaign, his lack of enthusiasm for her reelection bid undercuts one of the selling points she’s making to moderates in her district. Lee touts Casey’s endorsement on her campaign website, and sent campaign mailers last month that said Casey has “strongly endorsed” her campaign.

Given Lee’s hostility to the Jewish state, more than 40 Jewish leaders have endorsed Patel, citing Lee’s “openly antisemitic” rhetoric. Lee has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, and was slated to speak at an annual fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an anti-Israel group whose leader said he was “happy” about Hamas’s attack on Israel in October.

Casey’s opponents have pointed to his endorsement of Lee as evidence that he is not the moderate he claims to be.

“You can’t stand with Israel and be opposed to anti-Semitism and still endorse Summer Lee,” Republican candidate Dave McCormick said last week. McCormick has also criticized Casey for hosting a campaign event with Indivisible Philadelphia, a voter turnout group that has called to defund police departments.

Casey has expressed support for Israel, but stopped short of following his fellow Pennsylvanian, Sen. John Fetterman (D.), who has draped himself in an Israel flag in support of the Jewish state and reiterated calls to annihilate Hamas.

The Casey and Lee campaigns did not respond to requests for comment.

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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