“Not every democrat is a socialist,” Rubio wrote in a Twitter message, “but every socialist is a democrat.”
Commentators, journalists and politicians were quick to mock Rubio’s claim.
“So many people on the right have absolutely no understanding of the divisions, differences and schism that defined liberalism and the left,” Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted.
“If you wanted to craft a tweet with the goal of expressing the exact opposite of reality, you couldn’t to better than this one.”
Journalist Ben Norton laughed at Rubio, tweeting that the senator does not seem to understand that “the Democratic Party is controlled by right-wing neoliberals who despise the left and want to crush socialism.”
Writer Kim Kelly ridiculed Rubio, tweeting that his message served as a reminder “of how little this country’s gutless career politicians actually understand about politics.”
In a tweet, CNN contributor Ana Navarro-Cárdenas slammed Rubio as “an embarrassing disappointment” for the state of Florida.
Liberal activist and President of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, tweeted that socialists have their own political organizations and noted that they are, in fact, not Democrats.
In a Twitter thread, New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait described Rubio’s suggestion as “laughably false,” noting that the senator — who has made being anti-socialist a major part of his political identity — seems completely unfamiliar with how socialists view the two major parties.
“This is… not true at all?? The f*ck,” tweeted freelance journalist and Vox contributor Katelyn Burns.
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York laughed off Rubio’s claim, suggesting that the Florida Republican dismisses any form of government spending as “socialism,” unless taxpayer money is being spent on bailing out Wall Street and financing fossil fuel companies.
(Also, the idea that socialists like Dems… lol)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 1, 2020
Others questioned Rubio’s intelligence.
I really had no idea Marco Rubio was actually dumb. I thought he was like normie dumb. But now I know.
— Yung Fred (@WaywardWinifred) November 1, 2020
Republicans have long tried to cast the Democratic Party as an extremist organization that has supposedly been captured by left-leaning lawmakers and activists. Both progressive lawmakers and centrist Democrats have dismissed these suggestions as baseless.
Per The Hill, earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the Democratic Party is essentially a “center-conservative party,” noting that the vast majority of Democrats don’t even support universal healthcare.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has repeatedly dismissed the suggestions that the Democratic Party is being influenced by its leftmost members.
As The New York Times reported, Biden recently pointed out that he “beat the socialist” in the Democratic primaries, referring to Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Biden, who has resisted pressure from the left to adopt more progressive policies, is reportedly vetting Republicans for Cabinet positions.