The House minority leader is attempting to reclaim the word for those who oppose wearing masks during the COVID pandemic.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent out a fundraising email on Wednesday offering supporters who donate to his campaign red t-shirts that have the word "moron" emblazoned on them in big, bolded text.
The shirts are an effort to capitalize off Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comment calling McCarthy a "moron" in July for opposing a new mask mandate put in place on the House side of Capitol Hill by Congress' attending physician.
The mask mandate was reinstated as cases of COVID-19 rose across the country, thanks to the contagious delta variant. McCarthy appeared to confess that one-third of House Republicans chose not to get the vaccine in a speech on the House floor attacking the policy.
"Nancy Pelosi JUST CALLED Kevin McCarthy a 'moron' for opposing the mask mandate," reads the fundraising appeal McCarthy sent. "You're a top patriot and HE NEEDS YOU to get this t-shirt to oppose HER & the Radical Socialist Left."
The bright red t-shirts include McCarthy's own definition of "moron," which is written in smaller text on the shirt. It reads, "A term coined by Nancy Pelosi referring to freedom-loving Americans who oppose mask mandates."
Republicans have railed against the reinstatement of mask requirements as cases of COVID-19 skyrocket across the country.
GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill have protested, refusing to wear face coverings that public health experts say lower the transmission of the virus to protect those who are unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, every single Democrat in Congress has gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, meaning that they are wearing masks to protect the dozens of their GOP colleagues who have to date still refused to get inoculated.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Republicans hope their opposition to mask requirements will help them win in the 2022 midterm elections.
However, polling shows that cynical ploy could backfire, as large majorities of voters support wearing masks.
For example, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released Wednesday found that 63% of parents of school-aged children say unvaccinated students and staff should be required to wear masks.
And a Navigator Research poll from Aug. 6 found that 64% of registered voters support the reintroduction of mask mandates amid the current surge of COVID-19, including 60% of independent voters.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.