A Democratic candidate for Congress in Alabama tweeted early Tuesday morning that the actions of congressional Republicans are “worse” than those being carried out by the terrorist group Islamic State.
“The greatest country on earth is being bullied from within,” candidate Jesse Smith said on Twitter. “Actions of Republicans in congress are worse than #ISIL,” he added, using another name for the Islamic State.
— JT Smith (@jt4congress2014) September 2, 2014
Hours later, Smith tried to clarify his remarks in a Facebook post in which he still accused Republicans of trying to “terrorize” people.
“I am not saying that the republican party is beheading people in the streets, obviously,” he wrote.
“Here in America, because we are a civilized democracy, we do not use violence against each other as a means of control,” he added. “The republicans have used the economy as a means to terrorize the people of this country.”
His examples of terrorism from the GOP include raising interest rates on student loans, trying to privatize social security, passing tax cuts for the wealthy, and cutting the budget for food stamps.
“These are all examples of how the republican party is terrorizing the middle and lower classes of America,” he wrote. “Some republicans have openly sabotaged business and worker relations just so a union would not form to help the workers (see VW plant in Tennessee).”
According to Yellowhammer News, which first reported the tweet, Smith is a U.S. Army veteran who supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, and claims to be among the first convoys to enter Tikrit just before Saddam Hussein was captured.
Smith is running in a heavily Republican district against GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, who won his last election with 64 percent of the vote.
Smith’s comment about Republicans was tweeted just hours before reports came in that the Islamic State had beheaded another U.S. journalist, the second in as many weeks.