House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy from California is receiving renewed attention for a tweet that claimed three billionaire Democratic donors of Jewish descent were trying to “buy” elections. The tweet specifically mentioned George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer. “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA,” McCarthy wrote in the tweet that was posted Tuesday and deleted a day later. McCarthy posted the tweet a day after authorities found what appeared to be a pipe bomb sent to Soros.
McCarthy reiterated that point in an interview with Fox Business on Tuesday. “The real challenge that we have is three individuals who are trying to buy the Congress and flip it,” McCarthy said. “One is [George] Soros, one is Tom Steyer [who] has spent more than $120 million and then [Michael] Bloomberg where you saw … all that entertainment of what he brought forward, saying he re-registered as a Democrat a week ago. He also gave [an] $80 million check to win the House and a $20 million check to win the Senate because he wants to run for president and he’s trying to buy the nomination.”
In an interview with CNN, Steyer characterized McCarthy’s message as “a straight-up anti-Semitic move.” Steyer was also the intended recipient of a package that contained a potentially explosive device. “I think that that is a classic attempt to separate Americans. I think that absolutely falls into the category of what I’m describing as political violence,” Steyer said Sunday. “And I believe that what we are looking for in America is something completely different from that.”
McCarthy’s communications director, Matt Sparks, said in a statement that McCarthy “has and will always condemn in the strongest possible way violence or any acts of attempted violence.” McCarthy’s office didn’t respond to Steyers anti-Semitism charge. Although it happened several days ago, the deleted tweet from the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives got fresh attention over the weekend after the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed 11 people. The shooter, Robert Bowers, repeatedly targeted Jews on social media and was fond of conspiracy theories about the power of Soros in politics.
After the attack, McCarthy posted tweets to express sympathy for the victims and condemn the attack. “Today’s heinous attacks on Tree of Life synagogue perpetrated by anti-Semitism and hate will not shake our love for each other,” McCarthy wrote.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus