PolitiFact Rips Sen. Perdue as 'PANTS ON FIRE' for Saying Jon Ossoff's a 'Socialist'

November 24th, 2020 7:02 AM

Just before the election, PolitiFact slapped President Trump with a “False” for saying “Socialism is the mainstream of the Biden campaign.” This was fascinating, since PolitiFact allows Trump haters everywhere to call Trump a “fascist” or a “dictator” and that’s apparently considered factual.

The same tactic was used for Sen. David Perdue when he claimed his runoff opponent Jon Ossoff is a “socialist.” PolitiFact’s Tom Kertscher sounded angry as he ruled that was a “Pants on Fire” lie:

Perdue said Ossoff is a socialist. As evidence, Purdue said Ossoff supports policies that Ossoff actually does not support, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Those policies don’t constitute socialism. Ossoff is not a socialist.

Perdue’s statement is false and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire.

As with Biden, PolitiFact claims you can’t use the S-word against most Democrats and seems to define socialism as communism:

Strictly speaking, however, the most narrow definition of socialism refers to "governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

Ossoff has not stated support for such government control.

They betray their anger that the socialism accusation causes Democrats to lose: "President Donald Trump labeled Joe Biden a socialist — a claim we rated False, but one that some believe helped Trump win Florida in the Nov. 3 election."

So PolitiFact's piece sounds like they're trying to convince voters that Ossoff is somehow a “pretty mainstream” Democrat, and “middle-of-the-road Democrat,” as if being in the Democrat mainstream means you’re not on the Left??

"It’s somewhat difficult to classify Ossoff ideologically, as he has never held elective office and has a relatively brief history in the public spotlight," said Zachary Peskowitz, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta. "With that caveat in mind, his campaign statements and debate performances are consistent with a middle-of-the-road Democrat."

Jeffrey Lazarus, a political science professor at Georgia State University, also described Ossoff as mainstream.

"Forget for a moment the massive levels of misunderstanding that pervade discourse around the word socialism. Looking just at Ossoff’s policy positions, they’re pretty mainstream Democratic policy positions," Lazarus said. "As far as I can tell, Ossoff isn’t calling for any policy that is particularly left-wing."

So a look at his own website shows Ossoff is trying to look "particularly left-wing," if not socialist. He favors a ”public option” on health care  because “The link between health and wealth must be broken. It is essential that every single American has great health care.”  

On the environment, he supports “rapidly transitioning to clean energy sources, dramatically reducing carbon emissions, and increasing energy efficiency. That’s why I’ll support a historic infrastructure plan that includes massive investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and environmental protection.” Does that sound not "particularly left-wing”?

In other words, Ossoff may try to sound more “mainstream” to win in Georgia, but it’s not hard to imagine he’ll be quite in step with everything Biden would do to move the country leftward.

To be fair, we should note PolitiFact’s Kertscher gave Ossoff a “Mostly False” on November 17 for his claim “David Perdue says he'll do everything in his power to make sure Joe Biden fails.”