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. Barbara G

    Don't apologize yet, it may be true. There is alot about this president to be that we don't know about. and I think some of us will be suprised when it falls.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. I'm from Georgia and he's an idiot

    I'm from Georgia and my question to him and the posters/ranters in the Augusta Chronicle, is, why didn't he say this before and during his bid to become a congressman? Why because he knows he would not have gotten elected, he waited until after the fact. He's weird.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. VR

    These pigs haven't learned the lesson.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Grant

    What an idiot. He clearly has not been paying attention to what's been happening in this country under Bush & Cheney. Hello? Thousands of illegal wiretaps, anyone? American citizens detained indefinitely without cause?

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Dave

    There are a lot of suggestible people out there who are poorly educated and not too smart. If some nut harms our new President a lot of Republicans are going to share the blame for spreading these outrageous smears.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Susan

    This man makes me ashamed to live in Georgia. He is still part of the "good ole Boy" network who has not progressed in forty years. I tried to contact both his local office in Athens, and in DC, but being the coward that he is, all of the voice mails were conveniently full. Georgia has a lot of growing up to do, especially Broun and Saxby Chambliss. They both need to realize that the state is becoming more diverse, and will not tolerate this once accepted bigotry and hate. I, personally hope they vote him out, if for nothing else, his stupidity!

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Dominique

    What a moron. Hitler was not elected by popular vote, in fact most Germans didn't even like him. That's just one of the few things he said that is totally wrong.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. roger

    another GOP extremests, it is time for the people of America to get these people out of office......

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Rudy

    Comments like these are why I'm ashamed to be a Republican; Rep. Broun's ideologies are why moderates voted for want to know why we lost last Tuesday? Look no further than Broun and his divisive and uneducated comments.


    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Eric MA

    Also – FYI, Hitler was not elected. Ever heard of Hindenburg?

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Jay - Long Beach

    The deep thinking Southern mind, maybe they should be as critical of the last 8 years of republican management? The repubs will never understand how out of touch they are. The repubs need to move into the 21st century.

    November 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Anon

    The "opposite" views are a charade. They're both totalitarian states, just with different false ideals.

    No wonder you people voted for Obama, can't see past rhetoric.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. bruce

    Lets see, Obama throws 3 newspapers off his plane after they endorse McCain.

    Obama campaign, Democrats in Ohio and most of the media go on a smear campaign of an ordinary citizen, Joe the Plumber, just because he didn't agree with Obama's answer to a question.

    Obama proposes a Civil Force with funding as well as the military.

    Bill Clinton had the race card played on him by the Obama campaign.

    You folks make what you want of it. But these things and more add up to some pretty shaky practices already being in place.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Peter in MI

    This guy is supposed to be pretty high on the political scale, and I want the politicians of my country to be knowledgeable, to know History, etc. basically to be smarter than me..

    What is apparent here, is a total lack of knowledge of modern history 18-19th century, proved by the way he just mixed around concepts and ideas (Marxism, Fascism) that refer to different chapters of History. Although these chapters are connected, most apparently through wars, their driving ideologies are completely, completely different.

    So it's good (and expected!) that he apologizes, but he should also apologize for talking about things that he showed having ZERO knowledge about.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. PM

    At a time when we all need to come together for the good of our country, we have people like this making bonehead comments in public. Of course we do have free speach but some comments should be kept private.

    I believe we still have a democracy and Mr. Obama was elected fair and square. We may not all agree with his policies but he is our president and should be respected.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. jeff

    Wow – people cannot seem to get past labels. Conservative, liberal, right-wing, left-wing, socialist, fascist, etc.

    Instead of labeling, shed your biases and take a minute to use your brain and think about what Obama espouses – a civilian force as powerful as the military – and what he preaches – hope, change, and government created jobs. Then compare it to historical figures. Like it or not, the facts indicate there is a lot of similarity in the rhetoric. Is he going to be a dictator? I certain doubt it, but at least keep your eyes open and pay attention instead of disengaging your brain and blindly following party dogma. No wonder the country is going in the wrong direction.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. WhoCares

    Well, what do you call a person who will negotiate with terrorists? Willing to talk to Iran? You will soon find out ... that you have voted us out of existence. We can add Iran and North Korea to the list of countries with nuclear bombs under the new obama administration.

    Besides, mr. broun has a constitutional right to say anything he wants ... it's what make this country great. So don't take his rights and anyone's rights away too.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Alan Sanderson

    The Congressman has nothing to apoligize for and I wish he hadn't.

    November 12, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Ike

    If you ever needed an example of intellectual dishonesty this is it.

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Chris

    clearly the uppity school this guy went to failed him. Marxism and socialism is the polar opposite of Hitler and the Nazis. In fact Hitler labeled Marxist and socialists for extermination in his final solution. So to call someone a Marxist then compare them to Hitler is stupid. Hitler/Nazis/fascism is the extreme right of the political spectrum. So if Marxism is the Democrats on steroids then the Nazis are Republicans on steroids. What an idiot.

    I teach government at a public school in GA in a high poverty area and I promise you my "low achieving students" know the difference.

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Another Republican /Red State moron .

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Eliot Chase

    Broun is exhibit 'A' as to why we have to close half the military bases in the South. Shut down the paramilitary programs at the Citadel, VMI and Texas A & M. Put strict requirements on "home schools" requiring instruction on the American democracy, the Constitution, math & science, history, etc.

    I don't want to wait another generation while the idiots in the South act as a giant drag on the progress of the nation. They vote in an ignorant block. They are herded by the hate mongers. Instead of appealing to the intelligence of their electorate they appeal to their ignorance.

    The Facists and Communists never posed a greater threat to our Nation than do these idiots.

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Sebastian

    Wow, and people wonder why the country was so screwed up for the last 8 years. Because you had slack-jawed morons like these manning the wheel. Can we do away with the Hitler comparisons in general? Even Bush (who had secret prisons, spied on his population, invaded a country out of a sense of megalomaniacal ambition and paranoia, and elicited info through torture in the absence of due process) can't be compared to Hitler. He's the worst President in history, but he didn't methodically imprison and murder millions of people.

    I think they should give this guy a weekly radio address so we can be regularly reminded about why brain-damaged people like this should not be elected into office.

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Hilary

    I think the missing village idiot has been found. Didn't he get the memo that those kinds of remarks didn't help the Republican ticket during the election?

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    A Marxist Nazi...does that make him a Centrist then?

    November 12, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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