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A far-right Republican lawmaker has accused Democrats of ‘grooming children’ for politics on national US television.
Congressman Matt Gaetz, from Florida’s 1st District, made the accusation during an interview on Fox News.
The Republican claimed that Democrats were using children to push their political agenda, saying: “I’m concerned that the Democrats are trying to groom children to be political activists.”
Gaetz referred to an incident in which Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, had invited a group of children on stage during a campaign rally.
Gaetz said: “This is a party that wants to use children as political props to push their agenda.”
Gaetz’s accusation has been widely condemned, with many calling it “disgraceful” and “irresponsible”.
Elizabeth Warren’s campaign team released a statement condemning Gaetz’s words.
The statement read: “Matt Gaetz’s outrageous and false accusations are an insult to the children and their parents. We know that our children are the future and that’s why we should be investing in their education and well-being, not using them as political props.”
The Democratic National Committee also released a statement, calling Gaetz’s comments “despicable and dangerous”.
The statement continued: “It’s disgraceful that a member of Congress would stoop to such levels. We must all stand against this kind of irresponsible rhetoric, and ensure that our children are not used as political pawns.”
Gaetz has yet to respond to the criticism, but it appears his comments have been widely condemned.