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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Allen West likens Democrats to Nazi propagandist



allenwestimpassivecpac.jpgRep. Allen West created web headlines in Washington this afternoon after comparing Democrats' messaging to a Nazi propagandist.

"If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine," West told reporters. "I think that you have, and let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit in this, in enabling them to get that type of message out."

Politico has more, including West's defense of his remarks. But it's not the first time he's invoked the Nazi. In a July interview (around 6 minute mark) bashing Attorney General Eric Holder, West said, "These guys are masters and Goebbels would be very pleased to see the type of people that are up here in the Obama administration." West also once said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi employed "Gestapo-like" tactics.

Carl Hulse, a longtime Capitol Hill reporter for the New York Times and now editor, said West broke one of the rules of Congress - "never invoke Nazis. Always a backlash," he wrote on Twitter.

“Congressman West needs to immediately apologize for insulting the memories of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel. “Comparing political differences today to the worst Nazi propagandist diminishes what happened to millions of Jewish families during the Second World War. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Congressman West has made this type of hateful remark that makes a mockery of what millions of Jewish families suffered.”

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and Rep. Mark Pafford on Friday joined in the condemnation.
“This outrageous comparison is extreme, even for Congressman Allen West,” said Pafford. “Likening Democrats to Nazis is despicable and offensive. Floridians deserve more from their elected officials than inflamed rhetoric that has brought Washington to a stand-still and left the middle class out-to-dry.”

"This country was never so united as it was in its efforts to defeat the Nazis and all they stood for; both Democrats and Republicans gave their lives in an effort to defeat the Nazi regimes," said Smith. "It is out-of-bounds in the discourse of this nation to refer to one of the two major parties and their supporters, both of whom have a proud history of members in Military service, as a Nazi. The Republicans should publicly disavow such a statement as I promise I would if a Democrat made similar allegations against a Republican.

[Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2011 1:04pm]


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