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

Congressman sorry for likening Obama to Hitler

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Concerned American

    This man doesnt need to apologize here on CNN , he needs to go directly to President Elect Obama and do it face to face.
    What an elected idiot this man is.

    November 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Oh No He Didn't!

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the heir-apparent to the "Maccaca" throne, Rep. Paul Broun.

    Hopefully Pelosi brings him to the side of the chamber and says, "You hear that, Paul? That's the sound of all the Federal earmark dollars being sucked out of your district. Have a nice time getting re-elected in 2 years."

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Obama Thought Police

    When does Keith Olbermann name himself the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD?

    Or does it simply go without saying?


    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. S.D. Lucke

    As my grandad used to say " A fool and his brain are soon parted" Ladies and gentleman here is your fool: Republican Congressman Paul Broun. What a genius (sic)!

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Nathan,

    This kind of talk is just the beginning. These people are so afraid of losing the stranglehold they've had on this country for so long. This guy is the reason the Republican party is where it is now and where it will stay for years to come. They continue with the same rhetoric that caused them the election. They still play to their ever smaller, bigoted political base when the rest of the country wants some civility and action on our considerable problems. They'll continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. From Palin to this moron in my home state the Republican party will continue to fight the way people with no ideas fight. Since less and less people are listening to them let them keep talking. It can only help keep the Democrats in office so that we can clean up this mess they've created.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Democrat voting for McCain

    It' SO FUNNY watching the left react about the "disrespect" shown Obama. Gee, the liberal left never showed any disrespect to President Bush...including calling him Hitler on numerous occasions. What a bunch of hypocrites. Can't take the heat as usual.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Spirit of America

    An apology is not enough for this appaling display of hatred and ignorance by a US Congressman. He should be ordered to take remedial courses in political ideologies. Hitler killed Marxists, among others.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Will

    As long as the republican party is 99% white it can never claim to represent all the people. Using their traditional scare tactics just don't work any more.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Supreme Court II

    Actually the Small minds at work are now headed to the White House...

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |

    These are the reasons the Republican party has lost the majority of its base. These baseless, fear mongering accusations don't work all the time. We the people are intelligent enough not to fall for the same tactics twice. So please whether you like it or not Obama is our President and we can move forward if we work together or we can keep slipping behind by pointing fingers.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Newcomb

    Marxism is an economic and political philosophy; just because he recommends a national security force as a way to combat terrorism, does not link him to this philosophy; just because the republicans want to link his suggestions to the actions of a political despot and madman, does not make Obama one as well. Why not link Bush to Fascism for eroding our civil liberties, creating an atmosphere of secrecy, and orchestrating the greatest shift of executive power in our country all while claiming national security and the war on terror as justifiable reasons. Don't let the Republican sound bite create a dialogue in our nation of fear and distrust. This guy is old school. Move over, there's a new man in town.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Margie, OH

    This is the kind of talk that has worked for the Repugs for years. George W. Bush was the closest thing to a dictator that this country will ever have, and hopefully that's the last of it. Our country has survived, and now we're going to thrive.

    We need less divisiveness and more unity. Send this man back to obscurity and let's move forward. We want this country to go in a new direction and dinosaurs are not welcome.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Matthew, PA

    To be fair, Dems have been likening Bush to Hitler for years.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. danel

    Isn't Social Security programs, medicare, healthcare, social services and bailing out banks and mortgage institutions are consider government socialize programs? Socialism has been here long before time ago. I hope he is not planning to recieve medical treatments paid for by the tax payers for his hental dilusion.

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Dee, Atlanta

    I just did research on this scum bag and he's in a district in Georgia that is purely rural!!!!! Can you believe that??? Darn it, I can't vote that idiot out of office!!!!

    November 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. al in memphis

    Why do I day Limbaugh and Hannity are the face of the Republican party– it's because Republicans like this always seem to take any idea and turn it into a fear tatic. There should be a cattle call for any Republican to come up with a positive idea.

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Still Not Sure

    Representative Broun is right about a few things:

    It's a fact that both Germany and the USSR employed civilian security forces as a means of keeping their populations in check.

    It's a fact that Hitler was elected in a democratic process by a German population in desperate need of change.

    It's a fact that in both examples, things went horribly wrong for each country and the rest of the world.

    What's the line? "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it".

    In the end, I think it's just a cautionary tale, not an attack. "One Nation Under God" has a good point...let the man take office first before we get too judgemental.

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Gohi

    The GOP has not learned anything from their lost yet. The worst is still ahead. They are more concerned about social issues than what the majority of American people is faced now; foreclosure, unemployment, education, and so one. They are going to lose every sit in the senate if they're still thinking about the past instead of thinking about the future

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. SA in OO

    We really do have more to fear than "fear itself."

    We have the "good" people who stir up the fears and prejudices of a public that can't seem to understand they are being minipulated. We should be much more concerned about the Broun's in this world, who call out to the paranoia of some, than the Obama's who are trying to call up the best in all of us.

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. MikeInPa

    A civilian force to help the military..funny..the first thing I thought of was Air wardens and coast watchers of WW2..wasn't it Bush who wanted truckers to keep an eye out too....but this guy thinks Gestapo...kinda like unwarranted easedropping of phones??? he didn't bring this up after 8 years of Bush..oh the hypocrisy of these neo-con Republiscums..

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Giuliano from Montreal

    Yes, thats right Mr. Broun....Obama is like Hitler...what a stupid thing to say...has he ever listened to a Hitler speech? Hitler came to power because Germany was bankrupt and becoming more and more isolated and Hitler brought the German people the illusion of a common goal that would make Germany great again...Hitler was born out of fear, hate and desperation....Obama was born out of hope, optimism in the face of great challenge and understanding.

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Ken in Dallas

    Google "consequence management response force" to observe Bush's establishment of a real potential threat - brigades of US military forces being placed in readiness for domestic deployment.

    CMRF is a Bush initiative, NOT an Obama innovation.

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Dana, Trenton, MI

    I thought the most would give President Elect Obama a little time to get in office before that start complianing and comparing him to known people who don't have the best interest of America or People in mind...

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Mark James

    We'll See you on election day Broun!

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. carol

    These Republicans are always the same, say something so it's out there in the public domain and then come back and say...I'm sorry I didn't mean it......pathetic.
    That's why this country is so sick of them.....they are just a party of total division, I just hope we never see them back in power again.
    I am so relieved to be having a decent man running this country next year, we have had enough of this hateful right wing, self serving, holier than thou characters to last us a lifetime!!

    November 12, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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