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The Schmooze

Former Klan Leader Exploring GOP Presidential Bid

A field crowded with governors, senators and a past speaker of the house may be welcoming a man with a more unique qualification: David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Duke is embarking on a tour of 25 states to see whether he could go all the way to the White House, according to the Daily Beast. A former congressman from Louisiana, Duke won nearly 40% of the vote in his 1991 bid to be Louisiana’s governor and served as his district’s Republican executive-committee chairman until 2000.

Should Duke officially declare his intention to run, one of the candidates he can look forward to facing is Fred Karger, a gay Jewish Republican political consultant. As an anti-Semitic homophobe, Duke would have plenty to say about Karger: According to Israeli news site YNet, Duke spoke at a 2005 rally in Syria where he said that “Zionists occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government.” He is also the author of a book called “Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question.”

Duke is no kinder in his treatment of gay rights. On his website, Duke calls homosexuality “loathsome” and a “perversion.”

Karger, to put it lightly, differs with Duke on these issues. On his campaign website, he calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and for national legalization of gay marriage. At the Republican Jewish Coalition Winter Meeting in April, Karger said, “Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East and must be defended at all cost.”

Neither Duke nor Karger is expected to play a large role in this year’s Republican race. Karger did not participate in last month’s Republican presidential debate. When Duke last ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1992, he finished with no delegates to the party’s national convention.

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