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. Jim in NJ

    There will be lots of people who believe the rant of this fool Paul Broun. How else could he be elected. As the other writer said this is the Republican Party at it's best. They are still living on fear instead of hope. I feel sorry for them.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. chuck

    I am a yellow dog Democrat, but Republican Broun's comment was not offensive to me. It is O.K. to reference Hitler. He said he wasn't calling him Hitler, just referring to his enlistment of a civilian security force. A Marxist is not a dirty word in and of itself. It's the occasional idiot that puts these social philosophys in place that are the problem. Even the word Republican can be a dirty word if you consider the W. Bush years. Broun was only mimicking the style of namecalling used in the Republican campaign which we all knew would fall flat. I doubt Obama will think twice about these comments. He is above it and so is the electorate.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Nancie Thorne

    I completely agree with you, ‘One Nation Under God’. Republicans do not seem to have the ability to be honest about who and what they are, let alone the arthritic thinking of their party

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Hitler was not elected. He was appointed chancelor by Hindenberg.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Lin

    Paul Braun, I am much more scared about opinions like yours. They foster division and hate.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Matthew, VA

    Is anyone else getting tired of Republians saying our next President is 'kinda, sorta like the worst parts of Hitler and Marx combined,' then apologizing the next day like its no big deal?

    Also, wouldn't you think some of the national Jewish organizations would be a little angry with Republicans saying stuff like 'Obama is as bad as Hitler?' Doesn't stuff like that minimize the crimes Hitler committed?

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. martin

    Sad to say but this guy is right. We are already on the road to socalism in this country. The people have sold thier freedom for security. I am not saying that Barack Obama won't do a lot of good. Just that we are slowly embracing Marxist ideas. Those who don't study history will be doomed to repeate it.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. John

    Just when you think that they could sink no lower. I'm surprised that they didn't trot this out during the election. Of course, for some of their base this might have given them conflicting thoughts.

    It would be funny if this guy's wife's name were Eva.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. EJ

    The call to national service echoes JFK's establishment of the Peace Corps. While we certainly need a strong military, we also need to see that the responsibilities we owe to our country and each other are carried out on the home front as well. This Congressman is another Republican channeling Joe McCarthy. The way the election turned out it appears it didn't do much good in most of the country where intelligence trumped ignorance and fear.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Drew

    mmmm neo-con tears.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Joe Hussein McCain

    It's going to get worse, however this is not the thinking of the United States of America as the PEOPLE have spoken, and have done so loudly.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Memories of the past

    sounds like the militias of old. the ones who fought to free this country from the British. So was our founding fathers Marxists? it appears that he is thinking far ahead. with our military stretched thin, long lag times in logistics for them and their equipment to return, who will defend us against an attack on the homeland? I guess that is why Obama is the President-Elect and Broun is trying to hold on to his congressional seat.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Rej Braun

    As for you Paul Broun, you are an ambarrasment to this country. A congressman accusing a President-Elect of being like Adolf Hitler is beyond racism, beyond unacceptable, beyond bigotry, it is totally unacceptable in today's society. What you need to do is to grow up and learn your responsibilities as a congressman. If you are open minded enough to do that, you will then resign and give us, the people, our dignity back. You are shameful. Step down.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. jack

    When Republicans elect people like this, it's a shining example of the racial and bigoted hatred still alive in the south. Is this man Trent Lotts cousin? Wake up Georgia, time to turn this kind of politician out of office.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Jason

    20 of the last 28 years have been controlled by a Republican president and look where we are at. We have to start trying different approaches and ideas and methods. Not all people might like them, but we need to stop calling names if we don't agree and have opinions be opinions and try to take this nation into the next phase. This is why the Republican brand lost in these elections, both presidential and congressional contests.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. kimere

    Sour Loser and looser!

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. terri sel

    These types of comments are exactly why the Republican Party will be out of commission for some time. This type of talk may go over well with a minority of conservative extremists – but it totally disgusts a majority of Americans – Democrat and Republican. This guy has totally misrespresented what Obama was proposing and is using the most vile analogy. He ought to hook up with Rep. Michelle Bachmann from MN when he gets back to Washington – the two of them will keep the Republican party out of power for years to come.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Mike

    This yahoo is guilty of plain and simple hate speech and shouldn't be allowed to hide behind a half hearted apology. His own stupidity has now gotten him a permanent and well deserved nutcase stamp on his forehead. I say Obama should send him to North Korea for a few months so maybe he can find out what Communism is like. Then maybe he could come back and maybe try the comparison again. Typical republican morons lowering the bar of intellectual discourse by throwing hyperbolic labels around.

    November 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Tom

    Apparently there are still remnants of the old backward, uneducated, disloyal, racist South wandering around aimlessly.

    To call the duly elected President of the United States a communist in one breath, a nazi the next breath, and all in the same sentence demonstrates that this clown doesn't know a thing about either.

    When are you Southerners going to stop electing these ignorant traitors?

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Charm

    If Broun would look at the big picture, where are US troops should the US come under attack? Having a civilian force in the US is extreme I think, but until we can get our military back on US soil, it may be an unfortunate neccessity. It definitely is a stretch for Broun to even bring up Hitler's name in relation to Obama since US citizen rights have been eroded under Republican watch.

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Lin

    Republicans are imploding. It's rather sad............Not really.

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Hayden

    "Ha! Because Hitler and Marx had all the same Ideals….what a maroon." Ian... What a Maroon? I'm pretty sure that the Congressman is not a Maroon, that ethnic group is mainly down in Suriname and Guyana. National Socialism and Socialism/Marxism, in practice, had quite a bit in common. So, please, before you sputter nonsense like this do some homework... and use spell check. As for the Nazi remark, I agree, it wasn't the best thing to say... but also naming a youth organization the Obama Youth (it has since been changed) wasn't the smartest thing either.

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. Joyce, from New Jersey

    Well, all i can say is that Broun, a true republican and he should also move to Alaska and stay there with Palin they would make a good team and let Alaska succeed from the US they can all freeze and be a happy little family of crazy religious nuts

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Ms. GA

    Obama won so get over it! Why are so many people still saying negative things about this man. Look at where our country is. We need someone who is willing to try and change things for the better.

    As for the other discussion about how African Americans are proud.... Let us be proud! This is a huge step for America! It is disgusting to see so many racist and/or insensitive comments about blacks. This is our first Black President so why can’t you people (people who left the nasty comments) embrace it and see it for the positive step it is? I hate reading these comments some times. You will never know or understand how proud we as African Americans are because you never had to go through what our parents and even we have to go through.

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. Mark Lindsay

    Didn't the Nazis persecute socialists and communists? This guy is clearly someone who was just trying to throw out every "scary" word he could think of. It's sad.

    November 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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