NASHVILLE — Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is making no apologies for his controversial 9/11 Twitter post that accused Democratic President Barack Obama of aligning with al-Qaida in Syria's civil war.
Ramsey noted in a statement that ever since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the anniversary has been one of remembrance for "those who died, those who served and those who carry on.
"But," he added, "we must also remember those who attacked us and why. The Syrian rebels' connections to al-Qaida are well-established and well-known."
He said he is "proud to stand with leaders like Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul against coming to the aid of our enemies, enemies who continue to hate our country from afar as they kill Christians in their own country."
In a tweet Wednesday, Ramsey stated "As the President attempts to ally w/Al-Qaeda in Syria's civil war, we must always remember who attacked us on our soil 12 years ago."
State Democrats on Wednesday immediately criticized Ramsey's tweet, with state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, demanding an apology and accusing Ramsey of taking the "low road."
Among other things, critics pointed out that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., supported limited strikes on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for chemical weapons used against civilians, including children.
Thursday's response from Ramsey did not mention Corker.
Corker, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted to approve a resolution authorizing Obama to launch a limited strike against the regime. Corker also has discussed the issue of sorting out Syrian rebels with Al-Qaeda ties from those who do not.
Today, the Washington Post quoted Corker, who has pressed Obama to do more in the past, saying he was embarrassed last month while visiting Syrian rebels.
"It was humiliating," he said in an interview Wednesday night. "The president had announced [in early summer] that we would be providing lethal aid, and not a drop of it had begun. They were very short on ammunition, and the weapons had not begun to flow."
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...
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