In what may be close to the most over-the-top claims made by Republicans about potential Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said Sanders' election could lead to "mass genocide."
Sanders is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, an economic model normally associated with Scandinavian countries that boast high quality of life. But Paul, like Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba, fear mongered by comparing Sanders to historical monsters who used the word "socialist" in their party names, Right Wing Watch reports.
Paul linked Sanders to murderous dictators like of Pol Pot and Josef Stalin.
“It amazes me and it actually kind of scares me,” Paul told South Carolina radio host Vince Coakley. "I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the times when socialism has been tried that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. Mao killed tens of millions of people. Pol Pot killed tens of millions of people."
Paul went on to ignore the "democratic" in democratic socialist when he said," When you have a command economy, when everything is dictated from one authority, that’s socialism, but it doesn’t come easily to those who resist it.”
He's not the first Republican this week to make outrageous statements about Sanders. Villalba sent out a tweet Tuesday with the words,"That awkward moment when… 1. Bernie Sanders admits he’s a democratic socialist 2. Nazis were democratic socialists 3. America fought an entire world war to stop the advance of democratic socialists. Sincerely, sane Americans.”
Sanders is Jewish.
On Thursday Villalba backed off -- sort of, saying:
“You have national socialists and democratic socialists and most people recognize the distinct difference. N-A-Z-I is national socialist. I realize it was a flip, glib sort of commentary on where we are. Somehow, you invoke the Nazi meme and all of a sudden the Twittersphere breaks through. But you know, if you’re socialist, was Stalin any less horrific a leader in his country as a socialist? I don’t think so.”
Listen to the segment, via Right Wing Watch, here: