Republican lawmakers in the U.S. are heaping well-wishes on Argentina’s newly elected president, a self-described "anarcho-capitalist" they say poses an "existential threat to progressives."
Javier Milei has been compared to former President Donald Trump for his bombastic ways. He’s promised to slash government spending in Argentina by 15% and replace the country’s currency with the U.S. dollar, among other reforms.
Right-wing U.S. officials were quick to praise his victory on Sunday. Elected Democrats were largely silent, however.
"Here’s the most compelling reason why American progressives detest Javier Milei: If Argentina can elect a government with a mandate to restrain and downsize government, so can we," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said after the win. "It’ll work there. And then here. That, my friends, is an existential threat to progressives."
Javier Milei won the presidential election in Argentina, South America's second-largest economy. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., praised him, "Congratulations to President-elect [Milei]. Hopefully, this will be the first of many wins for freedom and democracy against socialism in Latin America."
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, called Milei’s win "decisive" and said, "I look forward to a promising new chapter for this bilateral relationship in addressing rampant corruption, Chinese encroachment, and other shared priorities together."
Trump also congratulated him on his TruthSocial page, "Congratulations to Javier Milei on a great race for President of Argentina."
Sen. Mike Lee during a nomination hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2023. (Cheriss May/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
"The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will turn your Country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!" Trump wrote.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also extended well-wishes.
Milei, a libertarian economist, campaigned on a platform pushing smaller government in order to achieve economic success. He has made public appearances wielding a chainsaw as a symbol of his desire to cut spending.
Argentina, South America's second-largest economy, is currently in the middle of a crippling economic crisis. Inflation in the month of October shot past 140% there.
In addition to calling for a drastic overhaul of Argentina’s government, including abolishing the Central Bank, Milei is also a climate change skeptic and has called to outlaw abortion.
Former President Trump congratulated Milei on his TruthSocial page. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
An interview clip of Milei, which has been widely shared on social media and has become emblematic of his campaign, reportedly translates him as saying, "You can’t give s--- leftards an inch… If you think differently, they will kill you."
Among the only congratulatory messages from a Democratic official came from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"We congratulate [Milei] on his election as President of Argentina. We look forward to continuing bilateral cooperation based on shared values and interests," Blinken said in a statement.
Elizabeth Elkind is a reporter for Fox News Digital focused on Congress as well as the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and politics. Previous digital bylines seen at Daily Mail and CBS News.
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