Nevada Republican admits he was wrong on 'socialism' charge

Nevada businessman Danny Tarkanian’s Senate campaign admits its candidate was wrong when he denied using the word “socialism” in a robocall against his Republican opponent.

In a joint appearance with former state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden on KXNT-AM radio, Tarkanian was challenged by the host on his campaign tactics. Tarkanian claimed he never used the word “socialism” in the robocall. But a recording of the call contradicts Tarkanian.

“There was no ‘socialism' word in there – you’re wrong on that,” Tarkanian said Wednesday. “I guarantee you.”

A recording of the robocall, though, makes clear that Tarkanian tied Lowden to the Wall Street bailout and then described the bailouts as “socialism.”

“With respect, I must disagree with my Republican opponent Sue Lowden when she and the establishment defended the Wall Street bailout,” Tarkanian said, adding later, of the bailout: “That’s not freedom. Let’s call it what it is: socialism.”

(A recording of the radio appearance, which featured only the two of them and wasn't technically considered a debate, can be found here. Tarkanian’s remark comes a little more than halfway through.) 

Tarkanian spokesman James Fisfis notes that Tarkanian had been accused by the host of calling Lowden a “socialist.” At no point during the robocall, though, does he directly use the word to describe her.

“Danny was wrong that the word ‘socialism’ wasn’t in there,” Fisfis said. “He was asked if he had called her a socialist, and he didn’t.”