GOP lawmaker: Democratic Party 'used to be more moderate'

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewGOP lawmaker: Democratic Party 'used to be more moderate' Sunday shows preview: White House, Democratic leaders struggle for deal on coronavirus bill Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools MORE (R) said Sunday the Democratic Party of which he used to be a member "used to be more moderate" but its views have trended toward the extreme in recent years.

Van Drew, who left the Democratic Party for the GOP in 2019 over the House vote to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE, said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that his former party was "going towards a socialist bent," despite the defeat of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Kamala Harris: The outreach Latinos need Biden and Harris seen as more moderate than Trump and Pence: poll MORE (I-Vt.) in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

"The Democratic Party used to be more moderate. It is not now. It has changed. It is a new party," he told host Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoBiden on Trump opposing Postal Service funding: 'He doesn't want an election' Biden and Harris seen as more moderate than Trump and Pence: poll Biden campaign accuses Trump of 'sabotaging' post office MORE.


"And it is not just political rhetoric, Maria, to say that much of the party is really going towards a socialist bent. They really are," the New Jersey congressman added.

During the interview Van Drew also slammed Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Trump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting On The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' MORE (D-Calif.) for her repeated reference to the coronavirus as the "Trump virus," a response to the president's own nicknames for the virus including the "China virus" and the "kung flu," for which the president has faced accusations of racism.

"[F]or her to say that is absolutely outrageous, when we know it was China that didn't give us the information, China that wouldn't let the CDC come in. It was China, God knows, that influenced the [World Health Organization] to give the wrong information out," said Van Drew.

The newly-minted member of the GOP won his party's primary last month and is now headed for a showdown in November with Democratic candidate Amy Kennedy, a former teacher, in November. His district is rated as "lean Republican" by the Cook Political Report.