Some Democrats running against Auchincloss are taking particular issue with a Facebook post from 2010 regarding the Quran. “So we can’t burn their book, but they can burn our flag?” Auchincloss wrote, linking to a news story about Pakistani lawyers burning the American flag at a rally. Auchincloss made the comment when he was 22, and says it was a sarcastic remark.
“Who among us is proud of every single thing they said or did in college? I’m not. Since that time I’ve served two tours in the Marines, been elected three times in Newton, and started a family,” Auchincloss said. “This was a sarcastic comment to point out how angry burning the American flag made me. This isn’t representative of my views, then or now.”
But others running to fill Kennedy’s seat are calling the posts “offensive” and “inexcusable.” Ihssane Leckey, a former Wall Street regulator, said she found what Auchincloss said “deeply offensive and divisive” as a Muslim and the only woman of color in the race. Leckey already called on Auchincloss to drop out during a debate earlier this week, as did attorney Ben Sigel. “There is no room for this kind of hateful rhetoric in the Democratic Party,” Leckey said.
Newton City Councilor Becky Grossman said “the idea of burning the Quran is sanctioning the worst kind of hatred” against a religion. “It has no place in our society,” she added. “MA-04 deserves better than Jake Auchincloss,” Jesse Mermell’s campaign manager, Katie Prisco-Buxbaum, said in an email.