Republicans, led by the Jewish outreach arm Republican Jewish Coalition, slammed a comment by California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on Monday that suggested “lies” in Republican National Convention speeches were comparable to Nazi propaganda.
“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… [Nazi Germany’s Propaganda Minister] Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” Burton told the California delegation breakfast in Charlotte, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, a day ahead of the start of the Democratic National Convention in the city.
Burton said Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan had told “a bold-faced lie” in his Republican National Convention speech in Tampa last week, “and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition published a statement condemning the remarks and urging Democratic leaders to repudiate them.
“John Burton ought to know better than to bring the Nazis and their victims into our current political debates, but apparently the offense such remarks cause to Holocaust survivors and their families are of less concern to him than the prospect of partisan gain,” RJC Executive Director Matthew Brooks said in the statement.
“Jewish Americans expect more from political leaders and it is incumbent on elected Democrats, starting with Governor Brown, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer, to unequivocally reject Burton’s outrageous and offensive remarks.”
The Republican National Committee’s Regional Press Secretary for the Southeast Region Matt Connelly called the comparison “outrageous and insulting to all Americans. It’s become clear that with no record to run on and no plan for the future, President Obama and his allies will resort to the lowest attacks possible to divert attention away from the fact that Americans are worse off today than they were four years ago.”
By Monday afternoon, Burton released his own statement. “To correct press reports of my recent comments about Republican lies, I did not call Republicans Nazis nor would I ever. In fact, I didn’t even use the word.
“If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie – I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment.”