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Reed calls Harkin ‘Tokyo Rose of Al-Qaida’
Republican Senate candidate Christopher Reed called incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin “Tokyo Rose” and “anti-American” because he provides “aid and comfort to the enemy.”
The statement came during a debate aired on Iowa Public Television and moderated by the Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen.
“We’re taking advice from somebody who has an eight-year history of becoming the Tokyo Rose of Al-Qaida and Middle East terrorism,” said Reed, a political newcomer from Marion.
Yepsen asked what Reed meant by the term “Tokyo Rose.”
“Providing aid and comfort to the enemy,” Reed said, later adding Harkin has sided with the enemies of the United States.
Tokyo Rose was the name given to female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda during World War II. Their intent was to destroy the morale of Allied forces.
Writing on his blog, Yepsen described how Harkin reacted immediately after the debate.
After the cameras were turned off, Harkin calmly told Reed: “You’re a nice young man and I thought you had a political future ahead of you but that just ended your political career right there” and walked away. Reed said nothing.
Yepsen also said that in his 34 years covering Iowa politics he has “never heard a candidate make that kind of serious charge about his opponent.”
The hour-long debate had several contentious moments. At one point, Harkin quipped that it looked like he was just going to spend the entire broadcast fending off attacks from his opponent. Reed then broke in, “They’re not attacks if they are true.”
Reed said Harkin has accused the U.S. military of committing acts of torture, citing a speech Harkin made last year in Washington, D.C. During that speech, Harkin demanded the military prison at Guantanamo Bay be closed, saying it betrayed the ideals and values of the United States by not providing prisoners with the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
Harkin later called Reed’s attacks “beyond the pale.”
“It’s something that ought not be part of our political discourse in this state or any place else,” he said.