WASHINGTON, DC- The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today slammed the insensitive Holocaust comparison made by West Virginia Republican Senate Candidate John Raese—which he apparently defended on Holocaust Remembrance Day. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
“Comparing smoking restrictions to the Holocaust is never acceptable on any day of the year. But for West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese to apparently defend those comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day takes the insensitivity and callousness of his remarks to the next level. Raese—who is just the latest Republican to use this type of inappropriate rhetoric—must apologize immediately and quit defending his offensive remarks.”
Raese said last week:
I don’t want government telling me what I can do and what I can’t do because I’m an American. But in Monongalia County you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke a cigar, you can’t do anything. And I oppose that because I believe in everybody’s individual freedoms and everybody’s individual rights to do what they want to do and I’m a conservative and that’s the way that goes.
But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. Ok?
Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing. [Politico, April 19, 2012]
Politico reported today:
In response to an inquiry about the Hitler analogy, Raese issued this statement.
‘No, this is not a standard line, nor a misstatement. It is a loss of freedom,’ Raese said. ‘As Ronald Reagan once said, there is no such thing as partial freedom, there is only freedom.’ [Politico, April 19, 2012]
With this remark, Raese joins the ranks of other Republicans such as presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Scott (R-FL), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and Representatives Allen West (R-FL), Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and FL House candidate Adam Hasner who have shamefully abused the Holocaust to make political points.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed on April 19, 2012.