‘What the hell is wrong with him?’: George Santos scorned for comparing himself to Rosa Parks

The New York congressman continues to face investigations into his serial lying

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 11 July 2023 17:53 BST
George Santos compares himself to Rosa Parks

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Louise Thomas

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Embattled Republican Rep George Santos has attracted scorn and mockery after saying he will not back down before bizarrely comparing himself to civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

Mr Santos joined conservative talk show host Mike Crispi and vowed to retaliate against people who criticise him as he faces multiple threats to his time in Congress and his freedom.

“They come for me, I go right back for them because I think for far too long they've gotten away with getting along to get along,” he said as he conducted the interview from a car.

“So you know, it's not going to stay that way anymore. I'm going to call them out. You want to call me a liar. I'll call you a sellout.”

Specifically, he criticised Senator Mitt Romney, who chastised the serial liar when they met at the State of the Union earlier this year and told Mr Santos that he did not belong there.

At that point, he compared himself to Parks – the civil rights activist who refused to give her seat up for a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Well, guess what Rosa Parks didn't sit in the back and neither am I going to sit in the back,” said Mr Santos.

“That's just the reality of how it works. Mitt Romney lives in a very different world. And he needs to buckle up because it's going to be a bumpy ride for him.”

After reporting on the congressman’s comments and reminding viewers of the civil rights legacy of Ms Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger in Montgomery Alabama in 1955, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked the network’s senior data reporter Harry Enten for his thoughts.

“What the hell is wrong with him? Can I just say that? I mean, my goodness gracious,” responded Enten.

He then explained how Rep Santos is currently polling. The serial fabulist has a favourability rating in his own district of just seven per cent, which Enten points out is lower than both the percentage of Americans who believe the Earth is flat and those who think the moon landing was faked.

By comparison, Rosa Parks is universally admired with both Republicans and Democrats giving her a favourability rating of about 90 per cent.

This scorn is also reflected in Mr Santos’s fundraising figures. In quarter one, he raised just $5,300, while his Republican challenger for the seat, Kellen Curry, raked in approximately $200,000, Enten reported.

Many members of Congress, including his fellow Republicans from New York and beyond, have called on Mr Santos to resign after multiple news reports discovered he fabricated multiple aspects of his personal biography.

In May, he was then arrested and surrendered to a federal court in Long Island.

The Justice Department charged him with multiple counts of wire fraud, three money laundering counts, one count of public funds theft and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

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