During a weekend appearance on the Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who’s running for re-election in a January run-off election, sounded totally unhinged. At one heated point, she insisted to host Maria Bartiromo that Americans won’t “get a second chance” to bring the country “back from socialism” if Democrats are victorious in Georgia and subsequently control the Senate. Loeffler’s extremist rhetoric sounds disturbingly apocalyptic — there’s no nefarious “socialist” takeover knocking at the door of America. Referring to the mainline Democratic Party agenda as “socialism” simply isn’t even accurate. President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t even support “Medicare-for-all” (instead, he wants a “public option,” with private insurers left in place).
At one point, Loeffler’s angry comments about her opponent, Democrat Raphael Warnock, seemed to carry a racist undercurrent. Warnock, who serves as the pastor of the Atlanta church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, is Black, and Loeffler claimed at one point that Warnock “would turn violent criminals into our streets.” Racists often associate non-whites with violence. In this case, Loeffler’s suggestion that Warnock wants some kind of violent free-for-all is clearly completely false. Criminal justice reform doesn’t equal a blind eye to violence.
Loeffler angrily commented as follows:
‘Everything’s at stake in this election. The future of our country is on the ballot on January 5, right here in Georgia… [Democrats] would fundamentally and radically change America for the worse. We are not gonna let that happen. We are the firewall to socialism, to stopping socialism in America — right here in Georgia, and we’re gonna do that. But you know Schumer has his radical change agent in Raphael Warnock in my race. He has espoused radical views from the pulpit… He would turn violent criminals into our streets… I’ve been proud to stand with President Trump to keep our communities safe, to stand with men and women of law enforcement, and to stand our economy back up and to create jobs and opportunity that lifts everyone up.’
Watch Loeffler’s Sunday appearance on Fox below:
No matter Loeffler’s original intention, characterizing Warnock as a “radical change agent” sounds racist, as if Black people are the ones who can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that Trump recently lost Georgia to Joe Biden, so associating herself with the losing presidential candidate might not be the greatest idea from Loeffler.
During her time on Fox, Loeffler also reiterated the claim that Warnock had welcomed the Communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to a New York City church in 1995. In reality, although Warnock was a youth pastor at the church at the time, PolitiFact “found no evidence that Warnock celebrated or welcomed Castro or that he was involved in arranging his appearance.” When the church’s lead pastor introduced Castro on the church’s stage, Warnock was not on stage.
If Democrats win both Georgia run-off elections, then they will control the Senate. The chamber will be 50-50, but vice presidents are tasked with breaking ties, and with Biden in the White House, the vice president will be Kamala Harris.