An avowed Democratic Socialist hoping to win a seat in Texas’s 20th Congressional District refused to apologize in the face of heavy backlash after he wished cancer on former President Barack Obama.
“People are criticizing me for wishing cancer on Obama. I say that having lost a parent to brain cancer after 12 years of fighting, and getting to see just how terrible our Healthcare system is, and I still think he deserves it or worse,” Justin Lecea said in a Sunday tweet, which has since been removed by Twitter for violating the company’s rules.
Let’s not forget about you suggesting mayor Pete be hanged or hoping that Obama get cancer pic.twitter.com/Ce0q43bVjg
— VoteBlue (@Dems4S) December 16, 2019
Previously, Lecea tweeted:
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“I just want you to think about all the people who have and will die because Obamacare is pointless and your entire presidency was a waste.”
“If god was just you would get the most malignant cancer imaginable,” he added.
In other tweets, Lecea characterized Obama as a “war criminal” and slammed him for his handling of the Flint water crisis.
Lecea also took a shot at Joaquin Castro, his primary opponent in the 20th District primary, for not having expressed support for Medicare for All.
Additionally, my opponent @Castro4Congress has still not yet signed on to #MedicareForAll, so he may not wish cancer on war criminals, but he certainly doesn't seem to care if any of our fellow Americans can afford healthcare.
— ☭?Ⓐ hammer enthusiast ?☭ (@Justintx_20) December 17, 2019
In the face of criticism from many commenters on both the left and right, Lecea said his delivery might have been “crude” but that his message came from a place of “deep suffering.”
announcing at the dsa convention that obama has cancer and everyone does the quiet clapping thing
— mark (@kept_simple) December 16, 2019
“My anger is for all of us and though Twitter forced the removal of the offending tweet, I stand by the moral justification for the things that I said. I will never apologize for speaking truth to power. Or saying that we need to remove billionaires by any means necessary,” he said in another tweet.
A poll released in July suggested the radical line favored by many of the “wokest” denizens of Twitter may be a losing strategy.
The Axios poll revealed that crucial Democrat voters have a largely unfavorable opinion of the more radical figures in the party, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
74 percent of respondents were familiar with Ocasio-Cortez, who like Lecea, is also a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, but only 22 percent had a favorable view of the New York Democrat. Omar fared even worse, with 53 percent of voters saying they were familiar with her. But only 9 percent viewed the Minnesota lawmaker favorably.
Also, Ocasio-Cortez’s enthusiasm for socialism does not seem to be shared by swing voters. According to Axios, 69 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of socialism. On the other hand, 56 percent of voters surveyed had a favorable view of capitalism.
According to a top Democrat who is involved in 2020 congressional races, advancing socialist ideas could end up costing Democrats swing districts in 2020.
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“If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the [House] majority at risk,” the source told Axios. “[S]he’s getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races. Socialism is toxic to these voters.”