Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock is facing criticism from Republicans after he would not denounce socialism when his opponent, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., asked him to do so during their debate Sunday night.
Loeffler brought up how Warnock has supported redistribution of income and praised Marxism in his past writings and asked her opponent to clarify his stance on the issue by denouncing socialism and Marxism.
“I believe in our free enterprise system,” Warnock said. He then said that his father was a small-business owner and recalled how he himself helped his church build a community center that helped members “participate in our free enterprise system” during the 2008 recession.
The Democrat then attacked Loeffler by accusing her of “teaching the big banks how to hide their investments offshore in the Cayman Islands” and buying her Senate seat. He later tweeted a video clip of his response that omitted Loeffler’s question.
Republicans were swift to call him out for his indirect response.
“Raphael Warnock can’t simply say ‘yes’ when asked to denounce Marxism and socialism,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Jesse Hunt in response to Warnock’s answer.
“Raphael Warnock just refused to renounce Marxism and socialism. Incredible,” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
“Such a lay-up. Tells you how whacked out and radically liberal Raphael Warnock is,” Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said.
“He refuses to denounce these dangerous & radical worldviews because he agrees with them,” Loeffler tweeted.
Loeffler also called out Warnock for dodging a question about court packing. Democrats have often threatened to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court and add liberal justices. This became a hot-button issue when some Democratic lawmakers renewed the threat during the confirmation process for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. In order to do this, Democrats would need control of the Senate so they could eliminate the filibuster and pass legislation.
When asked during the debate if he supports increasing the number of justices, Warnock said he was “really not focused on it.”
“He doesn’t want Georgians to know that he fully supports it,” Loeffler tweeted.