Brown issues apology for Hitler remarks
March 5th, 2011
12:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Brown issues apology for Hitler remarks

(CNN)—Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is apologizing for invoking Hitler and Stalin on the Senate floor.

"I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants, like Hitler, to unions," he said in a statement released Friday. "I don't want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it."

The statement came a day after Brown said dictators Hitler and Stalin didn’t want unions while railing against legislative measures proposed in Ohio and Wisconsin that would limit collective bargaining rights for state workers.

“I am passionate about fighting for the middle class,” he said Friday. "Ohio's teachers and nurses and police and firefighters are facing the loss of their collective bargaining rights, and I think that's wrong. But in speaking about this, I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants, like Hitler, to unions. I don't want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it.”

State workers and supporters have traveled to the state capitols in both Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio to protest the controversial measures that were introduced as cost-cutting methods to battle budget deficits in both states.

Filed under: Ohio • Sherrod Brown
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Lakisha R

    Democrats 2012

    March 5, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Phil T. Listener

    Senator Brown should not be apologizing for his remarks. I applaud him for all of his efforts on behalf of workers in this country.

    He is correct. The antics of those like Governors Walker and Kasich are an attempt at destroying the strength of the unions and the ability of workers to organize for better collective bargaining powers. The same as was done many times before by those looking to gain control over the economic strength of a nation.

    The hypocrisy of those who spoke of "contracts" many on Wall Street had regarding bonuses and salaries, despite the ruin they brought on our economy, while now demanding middle class workers give up contractually negotiated benefits and salaries is unbelievable.

    We are facing tough times, and those with wealth and power are trying to pit non-union workers and taxpayers against fellow citizens who are fortunate to belong to unions.

    March 5, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Laurence Johns

    The truth needs no aplogy. Tell it like it is Senator Brown; the people are with you on this.

    March 5, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. ckcgye

    It doesn't sound like an apology to me ... more like a disclaimer.

    March 5, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. colowest

    I fail to see why Sen Brown should apologize for telling the truth. The parallels between late 1920s/early 30s Germany and the United States today are frightening and we forget how Hitler and the Nazis rose to power at our grave peril.

    I agree with the tea-partiers about almost nothing, but I do agree that the Democrats back down way too fast and apologize for way too much.

    March 5, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Dave

    No, Mr. Brown, you absolutely should have mentioned the hostility of Hitler and Stalin to unions. The tactic of comparing your opponent to Hitler, Stalin, or some other mass-murderer of choice has often been used poorly in American political debate, but in this case it's the truth. You should never apologize for speaking the truth.

    March 5, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Moe NY

    Sen. Brown do not apologize for telling the truth. Most Americans know this is the truth. The republicans/teabags have gone too far with their union busting, I think your comment is most appropriate in this situation. Note to the republicans: If the shoe fits ware it, and obviously the shoe fits. Thank you Sen. Brown for sticking up for the American workers.

    March 5, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Dean

    Why do these people think that public employees deserve unions and collective bargaining rights against their employers the taxpayers? Why don't taxpayers have collective bargaining rights against the IRS and government?

    March 5, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    brown had a point with that comment. the state governors are truly acting like dictators, wanting to rob their own people without caring about their opinions or welfare. they should give people a choice of how much they plan to change things.

    March 5, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Adalbert

    Fact is a fact. Dictators do like unions or anyone else telling them what to do.

    March 5, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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