U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds’ contentious interview on “The ReidOut” with Joy Reid on MSNBC led to a viral clash over the collapse of the nation’s Social Security program spurring debate and political prattle on social media.
While fact-checkers were busy debunking falsehoods, Donalds’ wife decided she wanted to take to Twitter to denounce Joy Reid for speaking over her husband during their on-air debate on Tuesday. However, Erika Donalds’ effort to defend her husband quickly derailed as Black Twitter and critics of her husband thrashed her online.
“Joy Reid wouldn’t allow my husband speak because he kept making her look foolish! He brought facts and receipts, while all she had were empty Democrat talking points,” Erika Donalds said in a Tweet Tuesday.
The Florida congressman had shared clips from the interview with the liberal political commentator on his Twitter page on Tuesday, prompting his wife’s response. He was a little-known political figure until he was nominated for U.S. House speaker on Jan. 5.
Reid questioned Donalds about committee membership, voting laws, government spending and free speech, but one issue erupted into a sparring match — the longevity of the country’s Social Security program.
“Do you know Social Security is going to be insolvent in 2035?” Donalds asks Reid.
“That is not true,” Reid interrupts, then repeats, “that’s actually not true” nearly a dozen times as Donalds attempts to get his point across.
The Social Security Administration predicted in its most recent report in June that the program that provides payments to retired workers, their families and deceased workers only had sufficient reserves to pay full benefits on time until 2034. If Congress does not pass legislation to boost the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the agency said, the government would only be able to cover 75 percent of the benefits.
Meanwhile, Erika Donalds’ virtual attack on Reid made her an unexpected target for vitriol online. Some Twitter users attacked the congressman’s wife directly. Others used the opportunity to double down on Donalds criticism.
Erika Donalds clapped back in a second tweet featuring screenshots of “racist attacks” by Black people commenting on the couple’s interracial marriage.
“No surprise that he has a snowflake for a wife,” wrote Twitter user @Hymansb.
“Dude married to Karen. Starting to make sense,” DeeSymber20 wrote.
However, the wife responded by touting her 23-year marriage, which she said has always been a sore spot for “the left.”
“They can’t accept that a free thinking Black man achieves success on his own merits, and they sure as heck can’t stand that he’s married to me! Cry harder, haters,” Erika Donalds wrote.
Through the flood of over 4,000 replies to her series of tweets, several users took the opportunity to compare Donalds to former Republican congressional candidate Herschel Walker, who was labeled by some a puppet for the conservative party.
“Do you not realize that the GOP are using him like they did Herschel Walker?” wrote Twitter user @savy1227.
“Yeah, no. They gave him his reward. Publicly. Nice pat on the head. Demeaning. Used him as a pawn and a joke and you support it,” Twitter user @jar5669 wrote.
Another user wrote: “I think you meant your husband looked like Clayton Bigsby. There fixed it for you.”