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. No More Barry

    Mark my words, Obama will try to limit our access to free speech and will try to silence the right or anyone who tries to challeneg him. During his campaign he and his staff acted like street thugs to quiet anyone who spoke out against him. Obama is a dangerous man and needs to be voted out as soon as possible!!!

    November 12, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Alan

    He apologizes, then says the same thing again. You Republicans have a lot of re-building to do. The first thing is to get rid of people like this.

    November 12, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Jen in PA

    We, the people, should always question our government.

    However, to liken a fellow American to Hitler is shameful, and cheapens the atrocities that occurred under Hitler.

    Remember when Obama said that the Republicans were out of touch? He was talking about this guy.

    November 12, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Bryan

    Who cares if people get offended? I am sick of people saying something and then saying they are sorry later because someone got "offended." Get over it! He can say whatever he wants to say.

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Jeff

    Broun, Palin and several others were willing to say anything, smear anyone, in order to hold onto power. They helped create an atmosphere in which Obama could have been attacked. They should leave politics and vow never to return.

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Mike

    A typical Republician. If you disagree with someone, you don't be respectful, you call then names, tell lies and hope that people will swallow it. It's like that crazy Congresswoman in Minneapolis who wanted democrats investigated for being "un-American".

    If you ask me, these Repubicians are about as un-American as one can be! SHAME on this ignorant congressman.

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Concerned Voter from GA

    Okay, so you "regret putting it that way".... How the hell else would you put it? A national security force is a good idea, and it is essentially nothing more than a specialized police force to help secure our nation on the ground. In the wrong hands, it could be a bad thing, just like the police and Bush's dictatorship have become for many people in America...but as a White man, he wouldn't know too much about that, I'm sure. 9/11 was the first terror act to hit the American homeland... we don't want another one, but my God should we not be prepared. Oh, but the Republicans who have left the coast of Alabama with no armed military forces wouldn't think of that would they?

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. chelle

    Say what? What do they teach in Social Studies in the US? Do you actually study the differences between Marxism, Socialism, Representative Democracy, Monarchy, dictatorships etc. They aren't just words – they are all different structures and beliefs. Calling Obama both like Marx and Hitler on the basis that he wants a national security force? HELLO!!!! Many countries have a national police force of some sort and guess what – they aren't Hitler's Germany.

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Precedents

    What is sad is that these people are not even intelligent enough to know that Marxism and Hitler's fascism are polar opposites, with the first on the left wing and the second on the right wing. Not to mention that they seem unaware that the kind of danger they describe comes from Blackwater and other private security firms promoted by the current right-wing administration. It would seem if their fears were justified, Obama would be more inclined to continue to use these firms instead of make his statements that he opposes their usage.

    November 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. danyankee

    If you thought this kind of low-rent name calling went out with McCain/Palin, think again. This has been the style of the Republican party since the days of commie-baiting Tricky Dick Nixon and it's likely to continue. Let's hope the American people continue to see it for what it is.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Missouri Mom

    Calling Obama Hitler was the best thing you could do to let people know how ridiculous you are. If you can not win an argument on merit immediately compare your opponent to Hitler. It is the oldest and lamest play in the book. So thank you for letting the public know you need not be taken seriously.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. MARY

    Mr. broun what a MORON and an IDIOT you are . Let's see what Obama does as our President before we start criticizing.

    Mr. Broun who appointed you judge and jury? America does not want republicans to run this country all the time. The American people have spoken. Please respect their choice.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Tony

    Simply Myopic.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. sky

    If you really want to make that Hitler comparisome.....I am thinking it would fit really snugly with how this country has been handled the last eight years. the sorta, police state; seeing your co-Americans as enemies; spying on your citizens, trying to ban books, trying to control peoples personal life style in heavens name could any half way intelligent Republican not realize how close the Bush league brought out country. Obama is the man who will give us back our country. Bush and CHeney are the Hitlers.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. Independent from PA

    Racist pig! who cares. He won!

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. KC

    Harsh comparison. Remember, Hitler turned on his own. Let's hope for better. Let's hope for a turn around. Let's hope for a more unified nation. Like it or not as of January 20th Obama will be the President of the United States. It is up to us as Americans to watch his every move. But the bickering and fighting and anger will need to subside. The media can help with that if they will just back off. This is a great nation, don't let those in power destroy strong of conviction and demand results.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Steve

    That's an appology? "I'm sorry I put it that way"
    What bull! The phrasing is not what is so offensive, it's the actual idea!

    C'mon America, 2008 was the time to weed out scum like this guy!

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. HBO

    back home, we call people like him: TWO-FACED!

    I would rather have anyone representing me over a TWO-FACED, FEAR-MONGERING LIAR!

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Maggie in NYS

    So, he's sorry he said it and then tried to rationalize why he is really not sorry he said it.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Washington Observer

    Okay, so Obama is not a Marxist, but Obama is most certainly a Socialist and well on his way to achieving his goal of tearing down the old US free market capitalistic system and the heart of free trade and limited government intervention and turning the US into a Socialist State like France. Look for national healthcare; more taxes on the heavy tax payers already paying the most; more government give-away programs; and a free ride on the back of government for millions of illegal immigrants. If that agenda does not define a Socialist, then I do not know what would.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. steve

    congratulations congressman.
    You just got yourself only 1 term in office.

    that was the most backhanded apology i've ever heard.
    I hope your constituents throw you out quick.

    November 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Chuck

    He's Republican so whatever they say dont surprise me. Being from Ga I actually expect for their southern attitudes to come out more in these waning days of the presidents time in office!!

    November 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Don

    He is reading from Sarah Palin's play book... Democrats LOVE these people.

    November 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. JV

    "I'm not comparing the two"... yeah, he's just exposing similarities.

    Oh wait, doesn't that mean...?

    He was invoking "Godwin's Law". (look it up) It was all for shock value and well, he apparently doesn't believe in honesty.

    November 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Garee

    This speaks volumes about the Republican Party.
    Hijacked by some pretty strange folks. They seem intent upon casting anyone not in "their church" as evil. This is so out of step with what this country is about that we have to just shake our heads and hope they can open their minds to a new reality. We're in this together and the sooner we remember that the better.

    November 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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