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. swinn

    If there was a national security force, then it would logically fall under the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government, and would thus be accountable to the chief executive, i.e. Obama. The president would therefore have his own police force with power ranging throughout the country.

    To avoid such a scenario, the founding fathers left law enforcement in the hands of the states, and rightfully so. Look at how Richard Nixon misused the power of his office through the FBI, CIA, and IRS. A national police in the wrong hands is a risk we can not take.

    Broun owes no one an apology. He did not say Obama was Hitler. All he said was that one of Obama's proposals was similar to a tactic used by Hitler. He was just warning us of the possible consequences of a proposal made by a political leader. To me, we haven't had enough of our politicians looking down the road and considering the consequences of their laws and actions.

    November 12, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Rolling in the Aisles, VA

    OK, so now he "regrets" saying the President Elect reminded him of the world's most infamous murdering fascist, or a Commie, so just forgive and forget, right?
    Would that be because Obama won? Hmmmm.
    And when is this slandering tool up for re-election?
    Hopefully, the people of Georgia will put him in his place. While this behavior is unremarkable (perhaps even expected) for a southern rethuglican and hardly a revelation, the vehemence of the attack, attack, attack mentality is truly an epidemic, beyond even the most rabid partisanship. Maybe Boehner (or whoever replaces him) should start spreading the word: this will only hasten the end of their party, just as Liz Dole and countless others found out this election. But as a longtime leftie, I say: keep up the good work Mr. Broun- I sincerely hope you're on the ticket with Palin and the rest of the hatemongers in '12.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. AEJ - Miami

    Thank God these "old white men" are like Dinosaurs, like the GOP. With with kind of backward thinking, stuck in the 19th century, no wonder the GOP is a party of the past.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Triggidy

    You know what Hitler had in common with Bush? They both attacked a sovereign nation without provocation.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. 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. His comments makes all Repubs look bad.

    I wish people with these kinds of negative views would just hold them for about 12 months and then read them again. They will then realize how stupid they were and at least feel better that they did not say anything.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. John

    This republicans are really giving Obama tuff time, we dont just wanna just give him a chances. He hasnt even taken office yet and folks are critizing him, i now see that all this Rush Lim....and Sarah palin were using racial code when referring to Obama he is not one of us, If you dont agree with his policies there are better way of saying it. I didnt vote for Obama but am ready to give him a chance, he is our president now and he has the popular mandate, who am i to oppose the popular mandate. Let us just support him and pray for him, some of us cannot even manage our own houses, we cant even balance our house budget, lets give this young brillant son of us a chances

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. karth

    shut up. 88% of the senate is white. there's no way obama can change the country in the ways these stupid conservatives are talking about.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Jean in Austin, Texas

    People like this elected official makes me ashamed to ever have been a Republican! What has happened to the party that I believed in and supported! To make such a horrible, horrible statement comparing our Elected President to Hitler is both stupid and dangerous! SHAME on this Congressman and it's my feeling that he is the one that should be ousted!

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Army Vet in Charlotte

    You might expect to hear something like this from an ignorant individual on the street. Someone who gets their "information" from email forwards written by anonymous cowards. Slightly painful, makes you shake your head and walk away.

    From a US Representative it gives you pause. Sad day for GA.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Virginia

    This representative is expressing what I think many people in fact do fear. If you will remember, Hitler was young, charismatic, engaging, a brilliant speaker, and had everyone's rapt attention. No he isn't Hitler, but anyone who espouses things like a national insurance plan and a national security force, along with the continued annhilation of innocent babies through abortion at home and abroad and embryonic stem cell research is someone to be wary of. While what the rep had to say may have been harsh, we need to look at what may take place after January 20, when the honeymoon fades and he gets down to his real work, which will be what???? Think about it.....

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. WI Cheesehead

    Sad some politicians get away with stuff like this, worse for Broun from his words its not that he’s sorry for what he said, he’s sorry someone called him on what he said. Most horrible part is that not all the people who heard his initial comments and took it at face value have a chance to hear his attempt on “I am sorry I was called on spreading filth”.

    November 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. GA for Obama

    independent- idiot. Obama meant something similar to the National Guard and the Peace Corps

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Solomon Studenberg

    I am lessScared of Obama that I am of people like Broun. To even consider that this fearful moron can vote, now that is really scary.

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Truth Be Told Georgia reelected him back in the house too...shameful...

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. sam

    Republican Paul Broun , why ! why! why! why!. Obama please forgive paul and lets get this country back in full force.

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Richard Kefalos

    Hitler a marxists? Now I've heard everything. What a Republican moron, that Broun. Why not smply call Obama the n-word and be done with it? That's what was on Broun's mind anyway.

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Gun Nut Peach Nut

    Yeah now that Obama won he is sorry for his lies and scare/smear tactics. He is not sorry, if McCain would have won he would have never said sorry. Racism.

    November 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    another GOP fool.....

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Keith

    Yeah see, Congressman Broun* didn't say President-Elect Obama was Hitler, he said he was POTENTIALLY Hitler; just like Congressman Broun is potentially nuts.

    *(Any relation to Eva Braun??)

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Guido from Bangkok

    Quite sad to hear that from an elected congressman,
    But it shows that even brain amputees can get a job ! 🙂

    ( ..and some people here agree with that ! )

    Well, the land of the free ( and some nutcases )

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Joyce

    It's tragic that our leaders and lawmakers haven't matured enough to dispense with childish name calling. Marxist? Hitler?? You've got to be kidding me!

    I have to thank my lucky stars that my Congressman, Adam Putnam, is more mature and intelligent than this poor soul.

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Democratic Nationalist

    Hitler was a proponent of preemptive war. Can you think of anyone in America's recent past that was as well ? Of course you can !

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Jill (Oregon)

    It is no wonder the Republican Party is in such a mess when they have people like this as their so-called leaders.

    Our country is so lucky to finally have someone like President Elect Obama who is a student of the constitution and has the ability to critically think about the future of our country (how refreshing this will be).

    It is my hope that when the Republican party does regroup itself they will be looking for individuals that posses more then a "You Betcha" mentality to be the leaders of their party, if Sarah Palin is the best they have to offer or individuals like Mr. Broun, then I think their party will be out of power for some time to come. THANK GOD!

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Another typical Rushthuglican.


    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Watching from NC

    I just watched a Frontline documentary on Lee Atwater, and this is the same kind of fear-mongering politics which Atwater and his protege, Karl Rove, are famous for. They all expect that if they say something enough times, the gullible will swallow it hook-line-n-sinker as gospel truth ... and unfortunately, they're right much of the time. 🙁

    November 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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