Brian Fitzpatrick’s rival, Ehasz, fends off the NRCC attack

This article originally appeared in our Clout column. Clout delivers often irreverent news and analysis about people, power and politics.

Republicans this year hope to turn the war in Gaza into a winning campaign issue by accusing their opponents across the aisle of weakness toward Israel. But one local Democrat who served in the military doesn’t like it.

It all started when the Republican National Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of GOP candidates in U.S. House of Representatives races, asked whether Ashley Ehasz, a U.S. Army veteran and Apache helicopter pilot challenging U.S. Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, had engaged in “pro-Hamas activism.”

“I have proudly dedicated years of my life in combat, defending Americans and the American way of life from terrorist groups like Hamas,” Ehasz, who is running in the Bucks County-based 1st District, posted on the X. “For @RepBrianFitz – who never spent a day in uniform – and @NRCC now claims to support Hamas? To go [EXPLETIVE DELETED] myself.”

The uncompromising response, posted with a photo of Ehasz sitting in an Apache, came after the NRCC, which supports Fitzpatrick, sharply criticized Ehasz for a $1,500 donation she received from Wendy Rockefeller. The current patriarch of the aristocratic family, David Rockefeller Jr., sits on the board of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which finances the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voices for Peace.

“Extreme Democrat Ashley Ehasz is proud to be funding her campaign from the same billionaires who are responsible for the anti-Semitic chaos sweeping college campuses,” NRCC spokesman Mike Marinella said in a statement. “Voters need to know whether Ehasz agrees with their pro-Hamas activism or will he abandon their donations?”

Other Democrats quickly lined up behind Ehasz to criticize the NRCC, including U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, who along with Fitzpatrick is a member of the bipartisan and centrist Problem Solvers Caucus.

“Partnership is one thing. Blatant attacks on the patriotism of those you disagree with, many of whom are veterans, are a naked attempt to divide our country,” Gottheimer said.

Fitzpatrick’s campaign was met with offense at Ehasz’s choice words. Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, served with U.S. Special Forces during the Iraq War, according to the congressional website.

“Ashley Ehasz’s comments about Congressman Fitzpatrick are false and defamatory,” campaign spokeswoman Nancy McCarty told Clout. “The matter has been referred to campaign attorneys.”

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