A Montana state lawmaker claims that the US Constitution approves of jailing or shooting anyone who identifies as socialist. State Rep. Rodney Garcia framed his remark as a question at a state party gathering in Helena on Friday, then confirmed it to a reporter the next day: "So actually in the Constitution of the United States [if] they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot," he told the Billings Gazette. "They're enemies of the free state. What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?"
The Montana Republican Party promptly condemned the remarks, saying that "under no circumstance is violence against someone with opposing political views acceptable." The state's Democratic Party added that Garcia "has brazenly flaunted his conviction for a domestic dispute, called single moms deadbeats, and was only elected because he created an illegal campaign cash scam. Now he's publicly calling for people to be shot." Garcia later said he believed socialism was rising in Montana because he'd seen it in Facebook ads, per the Washington Post. His opponent in the House District 52 race, Amelia Marquez, said she wished Garcia "would continue to focus on the issues rather than this constant worry over things that are somewhat ludicrous." (Read more socialism stories.)