Republican Kevin McCarthy is drawing controversy for a tweet naming three wealthy Jewish Democratic supporters and claiming that they are “buying” the midterm elections.
The House Majority Leader identified billionaire philanthropist George Soros along with mega-donor Tom Steyer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, claiming that they were trying to buy the election. As the Huffington Post noted, McCarthy wrote the tweet this week after Soros was the target of an attempted bombing attack from a suspect identified as an ardent Trump supporter.
“We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th #MAGA” he wrote.
Many accused McCarthy of stoking anti-Semitic sentiments among the Republican base at a time when dog whistle statements accusing Jewish figures of improperly influencing politics and attacking American society are common. President Donald Trump has accused George Soros of paying protesters and pushed the theory that he could be funding the migrant caravan moving through Mexico toward the United States. There is no evidence that either of these claims is true, and Trump has offered none.
Critics say Trump has been stoking the fears and anger of fringe elements of his supporter base, anger which spilled over this week after the attempted bombings of top Democratic figures and a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, where the suspect reportedly bought into the conspiracy theory that Soros was paying for the migrant caravan.
“The numerous statements he’s made, calling himself a ‘nationalist,’ crowds at his rallies chanting threats against George Soros — it’s all connected,” Cecilia Wang, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Washington Post.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted this tweet AFTER a bomb was sent to Soros' house. Up until a couple of minutes ago it was pinned to the top of his profile. pic.twitter.com/FEeKoPolHL
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 24, 2018
As the Huffington Post noted, Kevin McCarthy’s tweet also played into a long-held anti-Semitic trope painting Jews as a shadowy force seeking control over politics and society as a whole. A number of other Republican lawmakers and conservative figures have echoed these conspiracy theories, especially in regard to George Soros, who is already a major donor to Democratic politicians and causes.
“McCarthy could not immediately be reached by Huffpost for comment about why he deleted the tweet,” the report noted. “But his message danced dangerously close to a well-trod anti-Semitic attack portraying Jews as comprising a wealthy international cabal secretly controlling the world.”
As the report noted, Kevin McCarthy later posted a tweet decrying the attack at the Pittsburgh synagogue, saying “hate will not shake our love for each other.”