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Rick Perry compares Hanukkah rebels to the Boston Tea Party

By Chris Moody, CNN
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The outgoing Texas Governor made a political statement with his Hanukkah well-wishing

Washington (CNN) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry may not be dancing with rabbis this Hanukkah season*, but the Lone Star State's outgoing chief is still looking to find common ground with the Chosen.

Perry released a statement on the first night of Hanukkah comparing the plight of the Maccabees—Jewish rebels who fought back the Seleucid Empire in the second century B.C.—to that of American tea partiers under British rule.

"It is fitting that the first night of Chanukah falls this year on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party," Perry said in a statement Tuesday. "The same spirit of freedom that inspired the Maccabees to rise up against a foreign empire motivated our Founding Fathers to rebel against the Crown on that fateful night. They knew, as the Jewish people know, that the few can overcome the many, that right can defeat might, that faith can transcend persecution. No matter how vast the darkness, all it takes is one candle to spread the light."

Perry, who has hinted at a second run for the presidency in 2016, also used the occasion as a reminder of his support for the modern Jewish state, a must for any White House candidate.

"Our Republic, like the light of the ancient Menorah, has lasted longer than anyone could have predicted. America remains a beacon of hope in difficult times for the world, he said. "And Chanukah reminds us of the power of faith to sustain a nation and ensure the security of our ally, Israel."

But the award for best attempt at Jewish outreach from a gentile governor with White House dreams goes to Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The son of a Baptist preacher, Walker, in an undated letter released in an August document dump but which didn't surface in the media until this December, concluded his correspondence to a constituent asking if he would light a Menorah in the state capitol for Hanukkah with the words, "Thank you again and Molotov."

Presumably, he meant, "mazel tov."

From all pandering politicians out there, Happy Hanukkah.

.*Perry did, in fact dance with rabbis after this article was published. Watch here: https://vine.co/v/Ognzm7iu1ev

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