The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat vying for one of Georgia's two contested Senate seats, claims his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, is running "smear ads." She is "taking things I've said out of context from over 25 years being a pastor," says Warnock.
Loeffler warns Warnock is a "radical liberal" who would change America. Warnock denies it.
Sorry, Reverend, but you proved yourself the extremist during Sunday night's nationally televised debate. In your own words, there was nothing edited or taken out of context.
At the debate, Warnock didn't deny he wants to eliminate cash bail and empty prisons. He possibly promoted the narrative that police disproportionately kill blacks more than whites suspected of the same crimes. When Loeffler warned that Warnock would raise Georgians' taxes to fund the Green New Deal and a government takeover of private health insurance, he didn't deny that either.
Most telling, Warnock refused to answer whether he'd support the Democratic Party's most radical, far-reaching scheme, packing the Supreme Court. "I'm not really focused on it," he told the debate moderators. Huh? You'd have to be on Mars to be not focused on it. Ducking the question clearly means he will support it.
When Georgia's Nov. 3 Senate race ended inconclusively, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gloated, "Now we take Georgia, then we change America."
Warnock, the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, captured 33 percent of the vote in the Nov. 3 Senate contest with 20 candidates competing. Loeffler, who had been appointed to the seat last January, came in second with 26 percent. Georgia voters will choose between them.
Georgia's other Senate seat is also up for grabs on Jan. 5. If Democrats win both, they would hold 50 seats in the U.S. Senate, enough to control it with Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote. A 50-seat majority would enable Democrats to ram through a far-left agenda including the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, tax hikes and even packing the court and adding the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as states with four dependably Democratic votes.
With so much at stake, partisans on both sides have spent a record-breaking $329 million in total, mostly for television ads. Democrats claim ads targeting Warnock are using scare tactics to portray him as a radical. But Warnock's own words prove he is.
Consider law and order. Warnock insisted Sunday night that he does not support defunding the police. No surprise. After so many Democratic House candidates who expressed that message were defeated in November, party leaders such as Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn and former President Barack Obama are saying to tone it down.
Even so, Warnock objects to cash bail, because he says thousands of imprisoned Georgians can't afford it. That would mean releasing accused criminals after they are charged, public safety be damned. Warnock also wants to empty the jails, because in his own words, this country "criminalizes poverty."
On the economy, Warnock favors substantial tax hikes and increases in federal minimum wages. Though lower-income groups, including minorities, achieved higher earnings and better employment rates under the Trump administration than ever before, Warnock insists the current U.S. economy "is designed for the wealthiest one percent, not the working class."
Al Herring, executive director of Faith in Action, argues that for many decades African American pastors have promoted more radical positions than white Christian churches typically do, implying that criticizing such radicalism is inherently racist. That's ridiculous.
The New York Times argues that "spotlighting a Black candidate and linking him to the state's most prominent African-American Democrat, Stacy Abrams, amounts to a strategy" to attract voters who "harbor racist views." As if Rev. Warnock's skin color should inoculate him from scrutiny, despite his extreme views.
Warnock has exhorted his congregation to turn the "radical and revolutionary love of God" into action and "turn the world upside-down." Those are inspiring words from a preacher. But those words from a Senate candidate are another matter. Warnock's leftist agenda will change America for the worse. Republicans are fighting hard to stop it.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey.