Libertarian Party Chairman Rob Oates said Tuesday that the electronic billboard making national news in his hometown of Caldwell "invites the unfounded criticisms of racism and political baiting," but makes a fair point about the deadly policies of President Obama and his three predecessors.
Oates, the Libertarian candidate for 1st District Congress, also says billboard's defender, Maurice Clements, should not be portrayed as a libertarian. Clements ran as a Republican in the May primary, losing to Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.
In a news release Tuesday, Oates misspells Clements name, but says he agrees with the billboard's sentiment that Obama's wartime policies -- and those of Presidents Clinton and George H.W. and George W. Bush -- have caused "hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world."
The billboard shows President Obama alongside Colorado movie theater mass murder suspect James Holmes.
The news release from Oates follows:
Libertarians praise free speech, question taste, agree with message.
The controversial poster showing a comparison of the murderous activities of the “dark knight” shooter and the foreign policies of President Obama that appeared on the Ralph Smeed Memorial billboard this week has been the focus of great controversy. Libertarians champion the cause of free speech and support the right of the Smeed Memorial foundation to post anything it chooses on its billboards. Libertarians also strongly agree that the policies of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, William Clinton, and George HW Bush have been the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world.
While we feel that outrage about these moral atrocities should be stronger we also feel the mes-sage lacks both sensitivity to the victims of the shooting and invites the unfounded criticisms of racism and political baiting. Libertarians throughout the state hold in solemn regard both the Aurora shooting victims and the thousands dead as a result of Mr. Obama’s polices. Libertari-ans call for an end to all aggression and ask that the people of Idaho join us in doing so.
We also encourage the press to be more precise in its reporting about persons claiming to be libertarian as the spokesperson that was interviewed, Morris Clements, is a Republican, and just finished running a Republican campaign for office.
The Libertarian Party of Idaho and the Smeed Memorial Foundation are separate and distinct entities, each with its own leadership team, objectives and internal policies; neither one influ-ences the other. More information about the Party is available at www.lpid.org.
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