Seth Moulton suggests red states are ‘getting what’s coming to them’ with coronavirus

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is taking flak for suggesting that “we” Northeasterners think the populations of conservative “red states” are “getting what’s coming to them” with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Moulton waved away criticism of his statements late Thursday as “cheap shots,” but others said they expected more from the former presidential candidate.

Moulton, a Democrat from Salem, was speaking in a streamed conversation with U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath, asking the Kentucky Democrat whether she’s “seeing minds change on the ground” on the coronavirus in her state.

“We certainly have this perception in the Northeast that all the red states are, you know, they kind of — they’re getting what was coming to them because they refused to follow these mandates, and they’re playing politics with this rather than listening to the science,” Moulton said to McGrath in a July 27 conversation hosted by the nonprofit organization 92nd Street Y.

Moulton continued, “I also remember saying when people asked me, ‘Hey, is McConnell in the Senate ever going to support another relief package?’ My answer was, ‘I think when they go home to their districts, it’s going to be pretty hard for them to ignore what’s going on.’ But when I said that I didn’t expect them to be facing the surge in cases that we’re seeing today.”

The press secretary for McGrath’s opponent, U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, first circulated a clip from the stream online  with the purpose of bashing McGrath for nodding along with Moulton, who McConnell’s camp simply identified as “Liberal Dem.”

A Moulton spokeswoman didn’t address what the congressman said, simply writing this off as “cheap shots.”

“While Mitch McConnell’s constituents are trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their rent and feed their kids because he’s letting their unemployment benefits expire, his staff is clipping videos in an attempt to troll his opponent on Twitter,” said spokeswoman Michaela Johnson. “This is a great example of why we need Amy McGrath in the Senate. McConnell and his office would do well to spend more time working to pass the relief legislation Americans so desperately need, and less time taking cheap shots on Twitter.”

McGrath and Moulton are former Marines.

GOP strategist Pat Griffin told the Herald he expects better of Moulton than this “unfortunate choice of words.”

“Obviously no one deserves to get the coronavirus,” Griffin said. “It’s obvious hyperbole, and that is the kind of hyperbole that Democrats get mad at Donald Trump of using.”

Cases have been trending upward in Kentucky in July as the U.S. experiences a second surge, largely in southern and western states that are a mixture of red and blue. Issues like mask-wearing had become somewhat political, with more Republicans than Democrats telling pollsters they eschew mask-wearing, which is recommended to stop the spread of the virus. President Trump long resisted wearing a mask, but changed his tune recently, and is doing so more frequently.

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