Email Update: May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011

Contact: Rina Shah


Israel Trip, HARDtalk in London and AIPAC in Washington, DC

LONDON – Continuing his first foreign trip as a Presidential candidate, Californian Fred Karger arrived in London yesterday to appear as a guest on the prestigious BBC interview show HARDtalk.  He will be interviewed by host Stephen Sackur today, May 19th at 3:00 pm (British time), 10:00 am (EDT) and 7:00 am (PDT).

This follows a full five days in Israel where Karger met with top government and LGBTQ leaders, laid a wreath at Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Memorial, and met with members of the media.

Karger’s trip and his campaign for President were front page news in a big story by Melanie Lidman in Israel’s #1 English language daily newspaper, the Jerusalem Post:



First gay Jewish Republican presidential candidate visits Israel


05/18/2011 00:57

For link to story, Click Here

Fred who? Karger, in Israel, talks to ‘Jerusalem Post’; calls candidacy “platform” for advocating gay rights.


Over the past few months, major Republican presidential candidates have strode the halls of the Knesset in hopes of boosting their foreign-relations credibility.

Jerusalem has hosted Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee (no longer running), Mitt Romney and Fred Karger. Fred who? That’s actually Karger’s campaign slogan.

Karger, a 30-year veteran of political campaigns who has never run for office before, wants to be the first openly gay candidate for president for a major party in the US.

He also happens to be the first Jewish presidential candidate for the Republican party… (more)

Karger is accompanied by campaign Jewish Outreach Director, Brad Hertz.  It was a jam-packed five day schedule in Israel.


Fred lays a wreath at Yad Vashem, the

Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem

Fred’s visit to Israel triggered this story back home in the New York Jewish Week by James Besser:



What? You never heard of the gay Jewish Republican running for president?

Submitted by James Besser on Tue, 05/17/2011 – 17:36

For link to story, Click Here

Being a political reporter means getting a lot of strange calls, letters and emails, so I wasn’t surprised yesterday when a friend forwarded me a press release from the Jewish gay guy who’s running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on a pro-gay rights, pro-choice platform.

What, you never heard of Fred Karger? He’s a California political consultant and gay rights activist who’s running against slightly better known folks like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich… (more)

Busy 5 Days in Israel

Karger toured the famous Shaare Zedek Medical Center, well-known as a trauma hospital that treats victims of terror attacks.  He attended a briefing by the Prime Minister’s office at Media Central on this week’s border incursions from Lebanon and Syria, was a guest in the gallery to hear Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to the Knesset and met with leaders of several of Israel’s political parties.  Fred also toured the ancient City of David, had a lunch meeting with the first openly gay elected member of the Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz and had a formal meeting at the Foreign Ministry with Deputy Foreign Minister and former U. S. Ambassador Danny Ayalon, his senior staff and Los Angeles Consul General designee, David Siegel.

He was interviewed by Idele Ross for Israeli radio, and by Turkish National Television on his views on Israeli – U. S. relations and the Middle East in an interview at his hotel.

“It was a very full schedule and I could not be more pleased with the tremendous reception I received in Israel.  I have visited Israel three other times, including in 2005 on a Republican Jewish Coalition mission, but returning as the first ever Jewish Republican candidate for President, made for a very special visit,” said Karger.  “I made many new friends and look forward to a return visit soon.”

Here are some photo highlights from the trip:


Fred leaving a prayer at the Western Wall


Fred and Brad immediately following meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Danon



Fred being interview by Turkish National Television


Fred with Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Danny Danon right after the Prime Minister’s speech


Fred and Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz after their lunch meeting

After London, Karger and Hertz travel to Washington, DC to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual gathering from May 22nd to 24th.  President Obama will address AIPAC on Sunday and Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday.

“I am really looking forward to networking with over 8,000 Jewish activists from all over the United States,” added Karger.  “l learned much about the fragile situation in the Middle East while in Israel.  I want to do whatever I can to further the peace process and work toward a two state solution if and only if Mr. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority recognize the existence of the State of Israel.  Their private words need to match their public words.”

“It is so wonderful to see how well this small country has done and how much diversity there is within its borders.  It is truly inspiring to see the country of my heritage thrive.”

“I will advocate for peace and a two state solution so that future generations of Israelis and Palestinians can finally live in peace.”

The Jerusalem Post: May 18, 2011

May 17, 2011

jerusalem post logo

First gay Jewish Republican presidential candidate visits


05/18/2011 00:57

Fred who? Karger, in Israel, talks to ‘Jerusalem Post’; calls candidacy “platform” for advocating gay rights.

fred pic

Over the past few months, major Republican presidential candidates have strode the halls of the Knesset in hopes of boosting their foreign-relations credibility.

Jerusalem has hosted Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee (no longer running), Mitt Romney and Fred Karger. Fred who? That’s actually Karger’s campaign slogan.

Karger, a 30-year veteran of political campaigns who has never run for office before, wants to be the first openly gay candidate for president for a major party in the US.

He also happens to be the first Jewish presidential candidate for the Republican party.

Karger, 61-year-old Californian, spent 27 years working for the Republican Party, and 58 years hiding his sexual identity.

Three years ago, when he “came bursting out of the closet,” as he put it, he wanted to make sure the lesbian, gay and transgender youth of today would not face the same difficulties he did.

“I want to send a message to the LGBT youth that there are no restrictions like I thought I had for so many years that made my life difficult,” Karger said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday near the end of his five-day trip to Israel.

While he would love to win the presidency (“I’d swear-in on a Torah, or at least an Old Testament”), Karger said he has his sights set on a more realistic goal: participating in one of the 15 or so televised presidential candidate debates before the primary.

He said the exposure from one of the debates, which are broadcast nationally, would be the tipping point to have fewer people asking “Fred Who?” and more people asking “Why not?” In addition to advocating for gay rights, part of Karger’s mission is to save the Republican Party.

“I’m concerned about the Republican Party, concerned it has moved too far to the right,” he said.

Though Karger identifies himself as centrist, and has supported Democratic candidates, such as Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and the democratic governor of New Hampshire, he never considered joining the Democratic party.

“It would have been very easy for me to switch, but I’m a stubborn guy, and very aggressive,” he said. “I want to have this effect… Clark Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans [a group that supports gay rights] once said, ‘When someone’s in the room, it’s harder to attack them,’” Karger said.

“That’s why I want to be in the debates… I want to remove [anti-gay rhetoric] as a discussion point. There is no room in the Republican party for gaybashing.”

Karger does not shy away from the “gay republican” label, but he does not love it, either.

“I knew that’s what makes me viable because it makes me historic,” he said.

His flagship issues are also education reform, Medicare reform and pulling soldiers out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Over his years in politics, Karger worked on nine presidential campaigns, and was a senior consultant on the campaigns of George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

After coming out of the closet, Karger led the charge against supporters of Proposition 8, which aimed to make same-sex marriage illegal in California.

He accused the Mormon Church of financing 75 percent of the pro-Proposition 8 campaign, and he organized successful boycotts against companies that made significant donations.

It was during the campaign against Proposition 8 that Karger hatched a new idea: run for president.

He announced his intention to run in April 2010. Since then, he has visited New Hampshire 14 times in the past year, more than any other presidential candidate. His strategy for New Hampshire: give every voter a “Fred Who?” Frisbee.

On Monday, he also handed out these Frisbees to security guards at the Knesset.

This is Karger’s fourth visit to Israel, though his first as a presidential candidate. In the past week, he met with MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), the Knesset’s second-ever openly gay member, and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Israel Beiteinu), and had dinner with openly gay Israeli singer Ivri Lider, in addition to meeting with leaders of Tel Aviv’s gay-rights organizations.

Karger, who has been on the campaign trail for over a year, has financed the campaign with $350,000 of his own money, and $30,000 in donations.

An admitted “terrible fundraiser,” Karger hopes an appearance on a national debate will shift this trend.

“This is not easy – I knew that even going in – but my whole life I haven’t worn this,” said Karger, as he touched his lapel adorned with a pin with an American flag and a rainbow gay-rights flag.

“I can tell people are uncomfortable, but I know I’m doing the right thing because I’ll make it easier on others, and reflect some of the hate.”

Email Update: May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011

Contact: Rina Shah


Karger in Israel: Embarks on 1st International Trip as Presidential Candidate

JERUSALEM – On his second full day in Israel, Californian Fred Karger held meetings with some of the nation’s leading LGBT leaders in Tel Aviv and appeared as a guest on “Murnaghan,” Dermot Murnaghan’s weekly Sunday interview show on Sky News – a London-based international cable news network.  Karger, the first Jewish Republican candidate to ever run for President, followed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny during the first hour of the show.

Fred getting wired for sound in Tel Aviv on Sunday

Portions of Karger’s interview appeared on Sky News throughout the day.  Karger covered a wide variety of topics including some prejudice hurled his way, the positive effect that his candidacy is having on LGBTQ youth and his first foreign trip as a candidate.

More meetings and interviews are scheduled over the next three days including meeting with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, members of the Israeli Knesset, communications officials, touring a hospital and other media interviews.

Today, Karger will attend a briefing at Media Central on the current incursions along the Syrian and Lebanese borders.

Karger is accompanied by his Jewish outreach director, Brad Hertz, and will travel to London on Wednesday for more official meetings, and to appear on the prestigious BBC interview show “HARDtalk” on Thursday, May 19th.

Mike Huckabee NOT running for President

“There is one less candidate in the GOP Presidential race, I am thrilled,” said Fred Karger.  “I know Mike Huckabee is supposed to be a nice guy, but his hateful words about the LGBT community will now be confined to his weekly show on Fox News.”

Why did Huckabee decide not to run for President again?  I wrote four columns about what I deemed his huge “Willie Horton” problem.   While Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee commuted the 108 year sentence of Maurice Clemmons, who after being let out of prison early by Huckabee, murdered four Seattle Police officers while they were having breakfast just eighteen months ago.  Huckabee never apologized to the families of the four slain officers, nor showed any remorse.  My last piece appeared in the leading British newspaper, The Guardian, one month ago.  To read, “Why Mike Huckabee can’t run for President,” CLICK HERE.  It’s a great read.

Well, the Donald bites the dust
Another Republican just backed out of the Presidential campaign.  With the drop out of political outsider Donald Trump, the field of politicians remains the same (Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Paul, Johnson, etc.), but now it’s just Fred Karger and Herbert Cain as the two businessmen running for President.


For link to story, Click Here

“Donald Trump ended his months-long public flirtation with a 2012 presidential run Monday, saying that he will not seek the Republican nomination — even though he could have won the election…”  (More)

New York Times has Fred in the Pack


This just came out from New York Times pollster Nate Silver:  CLICK HERE FOR STORY





White House 2012 Presidential Staw Poll Shows Significant Trends and Many Surprises



Demon Frisbee Running in New Hampshire – Getting Lots of Views and Interest

The viral hit commercial, “Demon Frisbee” has received thousands of views in the one week since it was put up on YouTube (CLICK HERE).  Now a 30-second version of the spot is running for one week on New Hampshire’s WMUR TV and throughout the state on cable television.  John Keitel’s incredible new “sci-fi with a twist” commercial has been reported worldwide, from Seoul, South Korea to Charleston, South Carolina.

Help continue to share this amazing and fun spot. Your friends will thank you for it!

Email Update: May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

Contact: Rina Shah


Fred’s New Commercial Airs in New Hampshire and on YouTube

HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – “Demon Frisbee” will make its Granite State debut on WMUR TV this week and on cable throughout New Hampshire for a full week.  A 30-second and a 60-second version of this fun and upbeat commercial is designed to showcase Fred’s campaign theme of “Bringing Back the American Spirit – Optimism and Getting Along.”  A longer YouTube version is online now.  You can help take it viral.  Send to your friends, tweet, post on facebook!   CLICK HERE or below:



Greenville Press Conference

Fred previewed his latest commercial at a press conference in Greenville, South Carolina last Thursday just prior to the South Carolina – Fox News Debate.


The spot by filmmaker John Keitel is designed to let New Hampshire voters know that Fred and his volunteers will walk door-to-door all over New Hampshire and give away Fred Frisbees to voters, a web card directing people to his web site and to listen to Granite State voters.

Fred’s first walk was Saturday in Hanover, NH.  Volunteers led by bagpiper Kirk Brunson visited several hundred homes and finished up at the famous Dartmouth Green where passerbys were entertained by incredible bagpipe music and more Fred Frisbees were given away (photos below).


Fred Live Blogs from South Carolina – Fox News Debate Thursday Night

Even though he was not allowed on the stage of the first GOP Debate at Greenville’s Peace Center, Fred along with Communications Director Rina Shah blogged throughout the Debate for the Huffington Post.  Then post Debate, Fred was in the Spin Room with all the other candidates to comment on a wide range of issues and the performances of the debate participants.

“I was extremely honored to have been invited, but very disappointed that I did not meet all of the criteria to be on that stage.  I thought that I would have had much to add to the essentially lackluster debate.

In the “Spin Room” doing lots of interviews


Questioned by debate cosponsor Fox


Team Karger in Greenville, SC.  Rina Shah, Communications Director (left) with Fred in the “Spin Room”



The First Saturday Precinct Walk and Fred Frisbee Giveaway


Kevin Miniter, Campaign Research Director with Tyler Ford, Dartmouth CoordinatorTraining the walkers before hitting the streets of Hanover, NH


Let the Walk Begin


New Hampshire’s Bagpiper Kirk Brunson
leading the way down Allen Drive


The Fred Frisbee Mobile Distribution Center


Kyle and Tyler at #9
Chris and Kevin giving away Fred Frisbees and talking to voters
imageBob Thompson and his husband Mike Jacobsen drove up from Manchester to helpwith the massive Fred Frisbee giveaway – Thank you!!!

Thanks to all who helped in today’s precinct walk.  It was a great time, and we met lots of New Hampshire voters in Hanover.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help Fred, contact New Hampshire coordinators: Lee Hunter – Southern NH & UNH, or Tyler Ford – Dartmouth Coordinator,

Fred Tied with Governors Huntsman and Johnson in Fox News Poll

In the first national poll to include his name, Californian Fred Karger garnered 1% in the Fox News Poll released last week.  The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research.  Fred was tied with Governors Jon Huntsman (UT) and Gary Johnson (NM) and just 2 points behind Governor Mitch Daniels (IN), former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN) and former U S Senator and Rick Santorum (PA).

“I am delighted that in the very first national poll to include me with all other presidential candidates I scored 1%,” said Karger.  “As the first out gay candidate to ever run for President of the United States, this is truly historic.  All the hard work of so many people helping me over the past 15 months has truly paid off.  And there is only one way to go but up!”

Poll Results:  CLICK HERE


Issue Highlights Up on

We have recently put up Fred’s positions and ideas on a wide variety of issues.  They are mostly garnered from interviews and speeches all over the country.


Fred in the News

Charleston, SC City Paper 


CBS News

The Atlantic

Huffington Post

Sunshine State News


Frum Forum

Open Secrets

Iowa Independent Youtube

Sacramento Bee

Bay Area Reporter

Korea Herald

Drake University News

San Diego LGBT Weekly

Dallas Voice

Sirius Out Q News Blog


San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

U S Election News

The Daily Caller