Georgia's Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock evaded a question about whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom he has defended numerous times over the years, is an anti-Semite.
Pressed on his support for Wright, Warnock told MSNBC's Morning Joe: "I'm not an anti-Semite."
Wright, who found a national spotlight during President Barack Obama's 2008 presidential bid, has blamed "them Jews" for driving a wedge between himself and Obama, his onetime congregant.
"Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright said in 2009.
Warnock, now competing in a hotly contested Senate race that could tip the political balance of the upper chamber, is under fire for praising Wright's infamous "God Damn America" sermon, in which the pastor compared the United States to al Qaeda and accused the U.S. government of creating the HIV virus to enact a genocide against minorities.
Warnock has argued that the sermon needs to be understood in context. "You ought to go back and see if you can find and read, as I have, the entire sermon. It was a very fine sermon. And Jeremiah Wright was right when he said the attack on him was in a real sense an attack on the black church," Warnock said in 2014.