NRCC Chair Defends Ads Labeling Democrats as Socialists

March 3, 2021 Updated: March 3, 2021

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee on March 3 defended political ads aired during the 2020 campaign that labeled Democrats in swing districts as socialists.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told Politico Live that the ads were honest because the Democrats they targeted failed to stand up to the socialist agenda being pushed by the burgeoning progressive wing of the Democratic party.

“We’re going to be very honest. When your conference is heading down the direction of this radical socialist left agenda—which we’re seeing again happen—and you’re not standing up to fight it and you’re not standing up to speak up and wrestle to take back my grandfather’s Democratic party we love so much, you’re going to own it. You’re going to own the entire agenda,” Emmer told Politico Live. “And that’s honest.”

Emmer argued that the socialist caucus of the Democratic Party is far larger than the self-identified group of democratic socialists knows as “The Squad,” the most prominent member of which is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Emmer noted that more than 100 House Democrats co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution introduced by Ocasio-Cortez during the last Congress and nearly half of House Democrats signed onto the Medicare for All bill, which is the signature policy of self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“You need to stand up. You need to speak up. And you need to be very bold and very loud about fighting these radical leftist policies,” Emmer said. “Otherwise, we’re going to make sure that the voters are very clear that Republicans stand for the individual, that Republicans stand for people’s right to self determine, to be the best they can possibly be without government telling them what that is, versus this new socialist agenda that the Democrats are literally embracing and pushing from the other side of the aisle.

“Those that are opposed to that aren’t being given a voice or don’t have a home. They should consider joining us.”

Republicans didn’t lose a single incumbent race during the 2020 election, gained 14 seats, and fell just five seats short of regaining the majority in the House. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) said last week that the left’s losses were due to the Republicans using unfair caricatures that portrayed Democrats as socialist and as supporters of the movement to defund the police.

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