McCarthy: Progressive lawmakers are 'no longer Democrats'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE (R-Calif.) railed against the Democratic Party's progressive wing in a new interview, asserting that they are "no longer Democrats."

In an interview with far-right news outlet Breitbart released Saturday, the top House Republican maintained that a certain segment of the Democratic Party wants "socialist" lawmakers to take over.

"You’ve got the House, the Senate, and then you’ve got the executive branch. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and the Democrats—to me, they’re no longer Democrats,” McCarthy said.

"They don’t call themselves Democrats. They’re socialist Democrats," he said. "I think this internal fight is where they want that socialist wing to take over. That’s why they can’t come to a consensus."

ADVERTISEMENT

Two House Democrats — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (N.Y.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (Mich.) — won election in November as members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Other lawmakers such as White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) have described themselves as democratic socialists, and each has pushed progressive agenda items such as "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal to combat climate change.

McCarthy blasted Ocasio-Cortez's remark last month that she would be open to dissolving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was established in 2002. A spokesperson later said that Ocasio-Cortez was floating dissolving DHS as an umbrella agency and reassigning subagencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Coast Guard to other departments. 

"Think about what is in there. That is Secret Service, FEMA, that’s other things. At any other given time, this country would be in an uproar if an elected body said that," McCarthy told Breitbart. "But what’s come to the body today is socialism. That’s the strife what’s inside this past Democratic Party, they’re not what they used to be.”

McCarthy also projected confidence about the GOP's chances in 2020, after Democrats regained the House last year. The Republican leader said he has personally helped raise $33 million for the effort and that the party is "further along" on candidate recruitment than in the past.

"What’s happening here is America is waking up," he said. "They’re seeing what’s coming at them, the socialism and the control of what they [the left] want to take over. But look at the individuals who are running."

McCarthy's remarks follow tensions between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez over a late-June debate on funding to address immigration issues. The Democratic figures later met, and Pelosi downplayed any divisions between them, saying after the meeting that she doesn't "think we have that many differences."

"We had a nice meeting. We had a nice meeting," she added after they met last week.