Baer is currently attempting to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Mast, a U.S. Army veteran, also released an ad hitting Baer over those comments earlier this month.
During Baer’s time at Harvard, she had critiqued the notion of American political leaders calling 9/11 an “attack on the world” when, in her view, the U.S. was not equally responsive to other mass tragedies across the globe. She mentions the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia as a few examples.
The new ad from With Honor, called “Stand,” argues such criticism just a month after the attacks were inappropriate.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were killed by terrorists,” the ad’s narrator recalls.
“Just one month later Lauren Baer criticized our country, calling our response to 9/11, when hundreds of first responders sacrificed their lives, ‘a moment of hypocrisy,’ writing that America has a ‘shameful history’ of rarely standing up for values of justice and righteousness.
“If Lauren Baer couldn’t stand with us after 9/11, how can she stand up for us in Congress?”
Grant Moody, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and political director for With Honor, echoed those critiques in a statement.
“As someone who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve seen firsthand our country’s sacrifice in response to the attack on Sept. 11,” Moody said.
“In the years that have passed, congressional candidate Lauren Baer still has not accepted responsibility for her damaging comments and apologized for crossing the line.”
But as noted in the summary of Mast’s ad regarding Baer’s article, the piece in no way criticized America’s first responders. Instead, the piece was a challenge to be more responsive when massive tragedies occur overseas.
Many will disagree about whether that complaint is valid, or whether it should have been made so soon after the attacks. Baer spoke on the subject at a recent debate with Mast, attempting to make clear her main message in the piece.
“I said if we are going to have other countries see an attack on America as an attack on (themselves), then an attack on American values anywhere in the world should be seen as an attack on us ourselves as well,” Baer argued.
“That’s why I devoted my career, six years of my life to taking an oath to protect and defend our Constitution, to serve two different Secretaries of State, to promote American values abroad.”
Baer added, “This is the greatest country in the world. But it is not a flawless country. We make mistakes. And what we expect from our leaders is individuals who are going to be vocal when mistakes are being made.”
Shauna Johnson, a political associate for With Honor, stood by the ad in comments made to the Huffington Post.
“Our advertisement contains Ms. Baer’s own words, that she publicly published under her name, and is entirely accurate in depicting her unfortunate comments – comments we believe will matter to Florida voters still coming to a decision for the upcoming election,” Johnson said.
“Her words may be inconvenient to her at this moment, but in the end they are her own published words.”
To read Baer’s 2001 article, click here.
To watch the group’s new ad, click on the image below.