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Pompeo's tweet on racist blog about Indian-American rival raised at Senate hearing

IANS  |  New York 

A tweet by of State-designate linking to a blog that made racist taunts against his Indian-American opponent in a 2010 has come back to haunt him in his confirmation hearings.

At the hearings on Thursday in Washington, Democrat Senator raised the tweet and other controversial statements from Pompeo's past and contrasted them with his more moderate stance before the Foreign Relations Committee and wondered which version of him was the real one.

Pompeo, the nominated by to succeed as of State, needs confirmation for the job and faced about four and a half hours of questioning by the panel.

Menendes recalled that he had tweeted a blog link "to your supporters calling your opponent, an American (of) South Asian heritage a turban-topper, stating that you thought it was, quote, 'a good read,' an article that you tweeted that said your opponent, quote, could be a 'Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, who knows'."

made the tweet and a similar post when he ran against Raj Goyle, a State in the 2010 for

Goyle, who was born in the US to immigrant doctors from India, lost the election.

"The I hear today, much more different than some of the Pompeo of the past, and so I'm trying to figure out which one is the one that will act if he gets confirmed as of State, because some of the things in the past I could never support," Menendes said.

The post that Pompeo sent links to was written by an ex-Marine, Bob Pinkstaff, who tried to communalise the election by pointing out that Goyle was not a Christian.

He blogged that Goyle was "just another 'turban topper' (that) we don't need in or any political office that deals with the US Constitution, Christianity and the of America!!!"

He added, "Like his comrade (then-Barack) Obama, he wouldn't give an answer, only that he was not a Christian. This guy could be a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, etc., who knows, only God, the Shadow and ... Goyle knows! One thing's for sure ... Goyle is not a Christian!"

Although his father was a Muslim, Obama said he was a Christian but some Republicans claimed he was not and continually raised it.

Pompeo later apologised to Goyle and said that his campaign had "inadvertently posted a link to a tremendously offensive blog post". His tweet and post were deleted by him.

Issues relating to and the rest of -- except for -- did not figure at all during the hearings on Thursday, which were focused mainly on China, and

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First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 16:34 IST