The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today knocked Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel E. Gomez for saying he was “never associated” with a group on whose behalf he appeared on national television.
“Gabriel Gomez is shamelessly trying to mislead voters about his role as the spokesman of a secretly funded special interest group that attacked President Obama over the killing of Osama bin Laden,” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said in a statement.
Gomez was a guest on MSNBC in August 2012 speaking on behalf of the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, a group that made a video criticizing Obama for how he handled the aftermath of the raid that killed Laden. Gomez also was quoted in a Reuters article that month speaking about his involvement with OPSEC.
At a campaign event in Boston on Tuesday, Gomez addressed his involvement with the group.
“As far as OPSEC, I did two interviews for OPSEC. I was never associated with OPSEC. I never donated to OPSEC. I wasn’t part of OPSEC,” he said.
Gomez explained that he gives “full credit” to Obama for green-lighting the bin Laden raid. But he took issue with how much credit Obama took for the operation and the number and type of subsequent leaks about the operation.
Gomez was pressed by reporters on his connection to the group, organized under IRS code as a social welfare organization that does not have to disclose its donors.
“I was never connected with them in the first place. I just went on there because we overlapped on that issue about the president taking too much credit and, more importantly, they leaked information that was bad for the unit down there and it put their lives at risk,” he said.
Gomez adviser Lenny Alcivar pushed back against the DSCC’s criticism.
“Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator John McCain both agree with Gabriel Gomez: we cannot afford politically motivated intelligence leaks that jeopardize the lives of those serving in combat,” Alcivar said. “If the Democratic machine disagrees with that, they should say so today, right now.”
In recent days, Gomez, his campaign and its surrogates have repeatedly dinged the campaign of Democratic Senate nominee Edward J. Markey for a web video that included a split screen of images of Gomez and bin Laden. The Markey video criticized Gomez for his association with OPSEC.
Markey and Gomez will face off on June 25 in the special election to replace John F. Kerry, now the secretary of state.