NJ-03: Gibbs blasts Kim for refusing to condemn Soleimani as a terrorist

MT. HOLLY, N.J. – U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-03) has mixed feelings about dispatched Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

His presumptive 2020 Republican challenger thinks that’s nothing short of disgusting.

“If anyone needed more proof that Congressman Andy Kim is a far-left fanatic masquerading as a centrist, his reluctance to call Qasem Soleimani a terrorist and flat out refusal to label Soleimani’s cold-blooded murder of U.S. troops as terrorism – because he’s ‘not an attorney’ – should leave no doubt. Forget politics; as an American, I am outraged,” said Kate Gibbs, a former Burlington County Freeholder.

Kim’s reaction to the death of Soleimani has been all over the map over the past week; he’s openly fretted over the potential for escalation and refused to strongly condemn the man responsible for an incalculable number of deaths during the Syrian conflict and other related regional conflagrations.

Gibbs was reacting to a specific Kim Q&A with NJ.com published on Monday. Kim refused to call Soleimani a terrorist when asked whether he would do so among other disconcerting statements.

Andy Kim

“The roadside bombs had such lethality. Molten hot metal would shoot out at 2,000 meters a second, six times the speed of sound,” Kim responded when asked whether Soleimani’s roadside bomb campaigns qualify as terrorism. “These were definitely weapons meant to cause as much damage as possible. I’m not an attorney, but I’ve certainly seen a lot of Americans die because of these.”

“During Kim’s time as Obama’s advisor, the President referred to ISIS as ‘the JV team’ and Kim still supports the failed Iran Nuclear Deal. Now, despite touting himself as an expert on Middle East policy every chance he gets, Congressman Kim’s reaction to events in the Middle East this past week haven’t offered any solutions or demonstrated any willingness to work with the President to deal with this crisis,” added Gibbs. “I don’t question Congressman Kim’s experience, but I question his courage to lead. How about instead of looking the other way while your party’s presidential nominees are quicker to condemn our American President than they are a murderous terrorist like Qasem Soleimani, you call them out and take a stand like the independent voice you claim to be? In other words, Congressman Kim, abandon your lay low, back bench approach and actually lead on something of significance – even if it frustrates your far-left base.”

Kim drew heavy criticism during his 2018 campaign for grossly inflating his foreign policy resume.

NJ-03 is considered one of New Jersey’s three most competitive 2020 battlegrounds and a seat which Chris Christie recently predicted would flip back to the GOP; the seat was held by Republican Tom MacArthur for four years until Kim scored a very narrow upset in November 2018.