November 12th, 2008
02:38 PM ET
2 years ago

Congressman sorry for likening Obama to Hitler

Rep. Paul Broun is sorry for seemingly comparing Obama to Adolf Hitler.
Rep. Paul Broun is sorry for seemingly comparing Obama to Adolf Hitler.

(CNN) - Republican Paul Broun is sorry for calling President-elect Barack Obama a 'Marxist' and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, the Georgia Congressman said Tuesday.

“I regret putting it that way,” he told WGAC radio in Augusta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that.”

In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this week, Broun admitted to calling the future commander-in-chief a 'Marxist' at a recent Rotary club meeting, and said Obama has expressed support for policies similar to those of Hitler.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Broun told the AP. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may– may not, I hope not - but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

Broun was specifically referring to a July speech by Obama, where the then-Democratic presidential nominee said he supports a civilian force helping the military when it comes to national security: "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the military]," Obama said in the speech that was largely a call to national service.

Responding to those comments, Broun told the AP Monday: "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun added. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."

The Obama transition office did not respond to Broun's comments, and in his interview Tuesday to WGAC, the first term congressman said, “The point I tried to make is that he is extremely liberal, he has promoted a lot of socialistic ideas, and it just makes me concerned."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Martijn Dekker

    "Les extrèmes se touchent" (the extremes touch one another), as the French proverb goes. There is very little difference between the extreme left and the extreme right. They are both ultra-autoritarian and dictatorial and deadly, and differ only in their chosen enemies.

    Of course, the comparison is still absurd in this particular case, as Obama is a centrist, far away from *any* extreme. I hope he will manage to restore common sense to US politics.

    November 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Dave Robson, Pawleys Island, SC

    Obviously, Broun failed to listen to Obama's acceptance speech. This is the time for ALL of us to pull together as ONE nation. It is people like Broun that will cause the demise of the Repub party. We should have zero tolerance for divisive comments like this.

    I wish people with these views this would just hold their comments for about 12 months and then read them again. They will then realize how stupid they were and feel better that did not say anything. Because they were are 100% wrong.

    November 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. nancy, brooklyn, NY

    It does make one wonder how some of these bozos got into office.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. MWA

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. dave

    Obama's call for a civilian force is a great idea. Sounds right in line with NRA and small government type people. Eisenhower warned us all to "beware the military industrial complex." We have largely ignored his advice as a nation. Transferring political power from the military to civilians sounds good to me.

    Of course, there are the ideologues out there who will scream about how we need to maintain our might militarily, but those are the same people who are blind to the mess in Iraq and not paying attention to countries like China who are making economic strides way ahead of us by being a peaceful superpower.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Another reader...

    Hmm pretty audacious comment there buddy...I guess someone's mother didn't teach him to really think before speaking. Shame Shame.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Moe, NY

    Nasty nasty Republicans, always hate and fear mongering. Mr. Broun, that is one of the reasons the Republicans lost to Obama. I suggest you and the rest of the Republicans spend the next four years concentrating on cleaning up your corrupt party and, it would certainly help if the Republicans did away with the hate and lies.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Demdog

    I'm amazed with the ignorance of some of the people in America.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Jeff Garris

    He can apologize all day long but, as in a courtroom, when the motion is made to strike a statement made, the jury has still already heard it. These republicans team up with the evangelists and cry out that the Democrats are sinners and have no morals and the whole time they're awarding no contest contracts to companies like Halliburton (where Cheney certainly has nothing to gain...), spying on American citizens, leaking names of a CIA agent (putting her life in danger), etc., etc., and it goes on and on!
    We've put up with that republican crap for 8 years! Look where it taken us! Good grief! We've a new president elect now, people, and the republicans have NO ROOM TO CRITICIZE! We have a deficit where, in 2000, there was a surplus; we have a recession where, in 2000 there was a thriving economy; 4000 + American military have sacrificed their lives in a war we had no business starting – and ending that ludicrous war is the best way to support our troops. Republicans you had your chance to make this country better. It's over now, at LEAST for 4 years.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. jack

    My book on new left in America detailed the movement in the 60's, and to my mind (after a PhD at UCLA) I have determined that in ideological terms Obama is a communist. There are what is called scientific socialism which means communism and the main purpose is to redistribute surplus value to all members of society which has come out of the Obama,s mouth. Marx was a philosoper and economist and dealt with slavery in the Roman Empire in his doctors dissertation. W hile Hitler was not a philosoper but a practical person with the goal of subverting democracy and ruling with a one party state. This is the style of communism with no room for dissent. Witness how McCain and Palin were treated and now there is one party rule in America. In this regard there is no sharing of power so the anology to the similarities with German rule at Hitlers time ; this is not without merit by this congressman.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. AJP Richardson, TX

    He needs to resign immediately.

    This country does not his kind in Washigton DC.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Doug

    What a terrable person this Rep is. This just masks the fact that he is racist. Why cann't folks except the fact that he's a nice a guy (Obama) and he's thinking about people. Anyone with his smarts could have gone into any law firm and made lots of money. Instead he chose to help folks on the south side of Chicago. By the way I'm white and male.

    Doug

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Al, NY NY

    how typical. Don't like the person. Compare him to Adolph. He's sorry now, but I bet he was licking his patheitc chops when he said it, as was the crowd at the Rotary Club..."you da mn right that boy is just like that Hitler guy....by the way who was he? Since I didn't finish 2nd grade I don't know who he is...but d amn right" Yee ha

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. It's like Christmas!

    I think this guy (the rep) is an idiot. If you are a republican, your best strategy right now is to just lay back and and try to to be helpful. BUT – I don't at all like what Obama says here: "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the military]," – that just gives me the heebie jeebies quite frankly. I agree that a civilian national service for young people is an idea whose time has come, yes, but comparing it to the military and their mandate, well that's plain wrong.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. YES WE DID

    REPUBLICANS ARE ALWAYS SORRY FOR SOMETHING.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. john

    civilian force helping the military when it comes to national security: "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the military]," Obama said in the speech that was largely a call to national service.

    america is way way over 200 years old. tell me something people. what's the name of the last politican who suggested what obama has suggested and asked for in a civian national security forst that's as strong, just as powerful as the military. please, enlightenment. who was the last politican who suggested such a thing? hello???? anyone??? anyone ?

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Scott

    This is just another example of the Republican Smear politics created by Lee Atwater. This kind of "we stand for nothing except winning at all costs, no matter what" philosophy is exactly why the Republicans lost in 2004 and 2008. If Georgia has any ethics and justice, this guy needs to be voted OUT of office. Obama offers us hope and the Republicans offer us nothing but fear and smear. They need to change their name from the Grand Old Party to the AWM party (ANGRY WHITE MEN).

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Carole

    It's always stunning to me when Americans vote for people who don't even know the differences between Fascism, Nazism, Marxism, Communism, Etc, yet throw those words around to smear and threaten others. How did this loser get into public office? I certainly hope that my intelligent friends in GA vote him out next time. He's clearly a moron who doesn't understand the most basic elements of history or political and economic theory.

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Dave Robson, Pawleys Island, SC

    Obviously Broun failed to listen to Obama's acceptance speech. This is the time for ALL of us to pull together as ONE nation. It is people like Broun that will cause the demise of the Repub party. We should have zero tolerance for divisive comments like this.

    I wish people with these views this would just hold their comments for about 12 months and then read them again. They will then realize how stupid they were and feel better that did not say anything. Because they were are 100% wrong. .

    November 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Chris

    This is exactly why the Republican Party lost the election. The Party is so out of touch!!! I mean seriously it speaks to the intelligence of some of their leaders and supporters when you hear crap like this from a current Rep in Congress for the their party. Do this guy really understands his job. Do he really think this Country would even allow something like that?

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. SueG

    I havae no respect for a man the used ILLEGAL money to buy an election

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Thomas

    All comparisons are odious. Seems Broun attended the Sarah Palin School of Government. Hitler and Marx were diametrically opposed ideologically. Hitler sent as many Marxists to concentration camps as he could. If you are going to smear a man, Congressman, please get your insults correct, eh?

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. ksmiami

    The Southern Strategy writ large. Republicans are doomed to be a stupid regional party with guys like this... Yay! In the meantime, we can work on greening our economy, building up our national infrastructure, stem cell research, science and math grants, etc.

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Tim

    Remove him from office.

    If he were a reporter and company executive, he would likely have already been terminated.

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Jason - Medina, Ohio

    I could make a crazy statement too:

    Bush pushed a war to protect "our freedom" from radical Islam. Much like Hitler pushed a war to protect "pure Germans" from Jews.

    This small minded congressman is exactly what is wrong with this country. If he was my representative, I would be ashamed.

    Making connections to Hitler is the politics of fear. How about you just discuss your fundamental problems with the issue and leave these small minded comments out of the argument.

    November 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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