Georgia Democrat Senate runoff candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock has a radical agenda, one that he has publicly, repeatedly stated both on the campaign trail and from the pulpit in his own church, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta.
Warnock and his campaign have tried to downplay his radical beliefs by backtracking, or even lying about the pastor’s comments. Here is a record of what he actually said:
Praise for Fidel Castro
In a 2016 sermon, Warnock eulogized communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castor, a man responsible for tens of thousands of brutal state murders, days after the dictator passed away.
“We pray for the people of Cuba in this moment. We remember Fidel Castro, whose legacy is complex. Don’t let anyone tell you a simple story; life usually isn’t very simple. His legacy is complex, kind of like America’s legacy is complex,” Warnock said.
Weeks before the video resurfaced, Warnock told CNN’s Jake Tapper he had never “celebrated” the foreign tyrant.
“Do you understand why people would be appalled by anyone celebrating Fidel Castro?”
“Well, absolutely, and I never have,” Warnock said.
Warnock also received pushback after it was revealed that he was the youth pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York when it hosted and praised Castro at what the Miami Herald labeled a “lovefest.” Warnock’s campaign said he did not have a say in the decision to welcome Castro to the church.
Labeling Police Officers ‘Bullies’
While many Democrats, including Joe Biden, have cautioned against using language and or talking points openly supporting defunding police, if only because it cost their party many down-ballot races to the GOP, the reverend has consistently used anti-police rhetoric from the pulpit.
In a March 2015 sermon, Warnock referred to law enforcement officers as “gangsters and thugs.”
“So in Ferguson, police power showing up in a kind of gangster and thug mentality – you know you can wear all kinds of colors and be a thug. You can sometimes wear the colors of the state and behave like a thug,” Warnock said.
Months later, he called the police “bullies.”
“When you think about the fact that America still warehouses 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see police officers act like bullies on the street,” Warnock said.
Raphael Warnock: "I won't defund the police"
Also Raphael Warnock: police officers are "thugs" "bullies" and "gangsters" pic.twitter.com/ytTA1OOUD5
— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) December 7, 2020
A ‘Pro-Choice Pastor’
“Reverend Warnock believes a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor, and the U.S. government and that these are deeply personal health care decisions — not political ones,” Warnock campaign spokesperson Michael J. Brewer told Fox News. “He also believes those who are concerned about life, ought to be focused on the incredibly high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality and working to make sure we are expanding access to health care, not taking it away.”
Warnock’s stance on abortion has landed him endorsements from pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL.
In 2015, Warnock delivered a Palm Sunday sermon in which he criticized Israel as an “apartheid” state, claiming that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a two-state solution in the Middle East was like saying “occupation today, occupation tomorrow, occupation forever,” echoing the segregationist George Wallace who called for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”
“If you do not have a Palestinian state, you will have apartheid in Israel that denies other citizens, sisters, and brothers citizenship, or you will have a democracy that is not a Jewish state,” Warnock stated.
Warnock claimed Israeli leaders are “racists” and called Jesus, who was Jewish, a “poor Palestinian prophet,” likening support for the Palestinian movement to support for Black Lives Matter.
“We know what it’s like to stand up and have a peaceful demonstration and have the media focus on a few violent uprisings. But you have to look at those Palestinian sisters and brothers, who are struggling for their human dignity and they have a right to self-determination, they have a right to breathe free,” he said.
Supporting Supreme Court Packing
During a debate with incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Warnock repeatedly refused to say whether he would support packing the Supreme Court.
“Reverend Warnock, if Democrats do win control of the U.S. Senate, there will be pressure to increase the size of the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you support adding more justices to the Supreme Court to offset President Trump’s recent appointments, and do you think there need to be term limits for justices on the bench?” the moderator asked.
After dodging the question multiple times, Warnock declined to answer.
“I’m really not focused on it,” Warnock responded, again pivoting away from the topic to talk about health care while never answering the question.