Gibbons digs up old quote to accuse Sandoval of anti-Semitism
Gov. Jim Gibbons on Wednesday brought up a comment opponent Brian Sandoval made in 2002 that Gibbons claims “promote(s) ethnic bias and anti-Semitism.”
The remarks were allegedly made during an editorial board meeting at the Las Vegas Review-Journal while Sandoval was running for attorney general. He said the attorney general is obligated to enforce any law no matter how unconstitutional.
Asked if that meant he would enforce a law requiring all Jews to wear yellow Stars of David on their clothing, he is quoted as saying, “It’s my job to enforce it.”
The Nazis required Jewish people to wear the symbol to identify themselves.
“That is a disgraceful example of going along to get along on an issue that epitomizes the way Brian Sandoval thinks and believes,” said Gibbons in a statement Wednesday. “This way of thinking is a sellout and a pitiful excuse for all freedom-loving people who expect their leaders to be strong and just.”
Sandoval issued a statement describing the governor’s charge as “so repugnant it is beneath the dignity of the office of governor.”
“It is sad for Nevadans to see him resort to such a ridiculous act of desperation but unfortunately, this is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Jim Gibbons and exactly why Nevadans overwhelmingly have rejected his misguided administration.”
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Sandoval responded to criticism of his comment at the time, saying the question was such a “ridiculous premise” that he was trying to answer with the job duties in mind.
“I am absolutely not anti-Semitic and any attempt by my opponent to paint me that way would be offensive and an obvious desperation move,” Sandoval told the Sun in 2002. He went on to win the election against Democrat John Hunt.
Republicans Sandoval and Gibbons are locked in a three-way primary race that includes former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon. While Sandoval is leading in the polls, Gibbons, who is seeking a second four-year term, has been reducing that lead in recent weeks.
The primary is June 8.