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NJDC Slams WV Senate Candidate Raese’s Defense of Nazi Comparison on Holocaust Remembrance Day

NJDC — April 19, 2012 – 12:14 pm | Abusive Holocaust Rhetoric | Election 2012 | Republicans Comments (1) Add a comment

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. 

** UPDATE **

TPM reported that when Raese was confronted with calls for him to apologize he refused—and called the outcry over his statements “b******t.” According to TPM:

Republican Senate candidate John Raese is standing by a controversial statement he made in his latest campaign for Senate from West Virginia—in which he compared mandatory no-smoking signs in businesses to the Star of David patches that Jews were forced to wear on their clothes in Nazi Germany.

‘I can’t find anything in my statement and during my speech that wasn’t true,’ Raese told the Charleston Daily Mail. ‘I’m not apologizing to anybody or any organization. It’s my perfect right to make a speech about meaningful subject matters in this country.’

He further said that the controversy was a result of Democratic video trackers, playing ‘gotcha.’ ‘I am not going to be intimidated by a bunch of bullshit,’ Raese said.

The two situations, Raese insisted, are analogous.

‘It’s government trying to micromanage our business; it’s wrong as can be,’ said Raese. ‘It is a very similar situation. I resent it, and I don’t put it on my particular office building. It might be smoking today, it might be Big Macs tomorrow, then Coca-Colas the next day, then Jack Daniels, then we’re in trouble.’


Charles H Nadler | April 27, 2012 – 6:33 pm

Apart from his antisemitism, John Raese shows a decided lack of brain power, when he makes an analogy between a requirement of an individual having to wear a Star of David so they can be shunned , shamed and murdered on the one hand, and no smoking sign to warn patrons that it is against the law to smoke in the establishment. But then a decided lack of brain power and racism do tend to go together, even if not all the time.

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