In an interview at the G20 world leader summit, President Donald Trump attacked the Democratic party, suggesting that they may as well change their name to the “socialist party.”

While answering questions alongside Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump said that he was not “impressed” by the Democratic primary debates that took place last week, and that the Democrats were moving closer to socialism. “That’s become like the Socialist Party,” he said. “There’s a rumor the Democrats are going to change the name of the party from the ‘Democrat Party’ to the ‘Socialist Party.'”

The president’s remarks came after a question about whether his administration had lost “momentum” on handling the crisis in Venezuela. In response, Trump blamed socialism for the humanitarian fiasco, asserting the situation there “just shows what socialism can do.” The current Venezuelan government is run Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Trump’s jab is not the first time that the Democrats have been branded as “socialists” recently. The Democratic primary debates last week were marked by an unusually high number of liberal causes, such as Medicare-for-All, ambitious climate plans and decriminalizing illegal border crossings, displaying how far the party has shifted to the left. Much of this is due to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), whose 2016 campaign introduced many of the liberal ideas that are now front and center in the 2020 debates. While Sanders identifies as a Socialist, making him an easy target for the right, no other member of the Democratic party has taken on that label. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), a prominent 2020 candidate with radical ideas similar to those of Sanders, remarked that it is “just wrong” to call her a socialist, despite the socialist nature of her policies.

As the Democrats continue to espouse increasingly radical viewpoints, the Republicans hope that by branding those ideas as socialist, a buzzword that carries a negative, Cold War, connotation, the GOP can reduce the Democrats’ popularity. Many GOP members fear that the populist appeal of policies such as free, universal, healthcare will undermine the populist appeal of Trump, tapping into the same voter base that won him the 2016 election.

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