The Wall Street Journal interviewed Illinois Democrat Sean Casten this weekend — and discovered that he has a penchant for insulting his 6th congressional district opponent, conservative Republican Peter Roskam (R-IL).
Casten’s insults are so frequent, and so aggressive, that Roskam has compared his Democratic opponent to President Donald Trump — unfavorably — in a bid to appeal to suburban women who may not like Trump’s style.
Among the insults the Journal noted are:
- Suggesting Roskam supports pedophilia because he uses “a ‘historic desk’ used by Illinois congressmen since the 1940s” handed down to him by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who admitted to a hush money scheme to cover up alleged sexual abuse he committed as a high school boys’ wrestling coach. Hastert gave him the desk in 2011, before the charges were known.
- Claiming, falsely, that there “was an actual member of the Hungarian Nazi Party in the White House.” (The claim refers to former White House foreign policy adviser Sebastian Gorka, who was smeared by the left.)
- Comparing Trump to Osama bin Laden, in audio published by the Washington Free Beacon: “Trump and Osama bin Laden have a tremendous amount in common, because they have both figured out how to use the bully pulpit to activate marginalized young men.” (Caste later said he “regrets” the remarks.)
Casten has said some other inflammatory things about politics in general, the Journal notes:
When the Trump administration this summer was separating families of illegal aliens, he said in a Chicago Tribune debate that “we are literally kidnapping babies at the border.” At the suburban Daily Herald last month, he said wealth inequality is, historically speaking, “getting dangerously close to the levels that precede revolutions.” The same day he repeated a conspiracy theory that an attorney—reported to be of Mexican and Jewish descent—was “flashing white-power signs behind the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.”
Roskam is making an issue of Casten’s rhetoric. In a new ad modeled after comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s “mean tweets” bit, Roskam features 6th district voters reading Casten’s more infamous comments straight to camera.
Other Democrats — notably Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) — have tried their hand at trolling, though few seem to have Trump’s knack.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.