A Texas lawmaker under fire for suggesting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was linked to German Nazism admitted Thursday that there was no connection -- but then associated the Democratic presidential candidate with a communist mass murderer.
State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) tweeted an image during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate that accurately described Sanders as a democratic socialist but incorrectly described the Nazis as democratic socialists.
On Thursday, Villalba told the Austin Statesman that he knew the Nazis were not democratic socialists, but tweeted the image anyway.
“Now including the meme below it is something that struck me as humorous,” he explained. “I attached it and I tweeted it out. So is the history accurate in this? Of course not. Look, was I trying to make a connection between Sanders and the Nazi party? Absolutely not. I categorically reject any suggestion that that is what I was intending to do. It was meant just to point out that the Democratic Party, as we understand them today and as they were going through their debate, have exhibited a level of left-wing social engineering that we haven’t seen in our country in decades. And so that was my statement.”
The Republican lawmaker then compared Sanders to communist dictator Josef Stalin.
“You have national socialists and democratic socialists and most people recognize the distinct difference,” Villalba told the Austin Statesman. “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.”
Villalba said he found the image “on a blog somewhere.”