Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans, noted that he had deleted a controversial tweet not because it was anti-Semitic, but because it coincided in terms of the timing with bombs mailed to targets in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, The Times of Israel reported.
Democrats have targeted McCarthy this week for a tweet he posted in October, less than a month before the congressional vote, when he was a majority leader, targeting the most prominent Democratic donors:
“We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election!”
McCarthy tried to fend off negative reactions to this, saying he is by no means against the ethnicity of the aforementioned billionaires, but was merely targeting their political beliefs, namely their overwhelming support for Democrats.
“Michael Bloomberg put in $54 million into the campaign just in the last couple weeks in 24 districts”, the California Republican told Fox News this week. “All I was pointing out was money that Republicans and Democrats were spending to defeat one another”.
It has fuelled controversy, however, given memories of an earlier incident when McCarthy called to act against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for suggesting that American support for Israel was caused by political donations from a pro-Israel lobby group. Although Omar apologized for what was called “anti-Semitic tropes”, McCarthy noted that she should face consequences.
After the Jewish Telegraphic Agency turned to McCarthy’s office asking what made McCarthy delete his straightforward tweet, his spokeswoman, Erin Perrine, said that it was all due to the timing, as a few days later a pro-Trump Florida citizen mailed homemade pipe bomb packages to Soros, Steyer, Clinton and other prominent Democratic figures. McCarthy subsequently deemed it most appropriate to take down the controversial tweet. To prove the point, Perrine brought up McCarthy’s statement from October:
“Understanding the particular sensitivity of the past 24 hours in the political climate today that has led to specific threats on both sides of the aisle, we will redouble our focus on our agenda of results”.
The public was urged to stay on high alert in late October, after as many as 12 potential explosive devices were mailed to high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, and the CNN editorial office, although they did not, fortunately, injure anyone.
The widely-covered US 2018 midterms produced a split Congress, with Democrats regaining the House and Republicans ultimately retaining control of the Senate, expanding their majority from 51 to 54 out of the total of 100 seats.