JTA — Rep. Mary Miller, the Illinois Republican who said in a speech that “Hitler was right on one thing,” apologized on Friday after initially defending her remarks.
At a Wednesday rally in Washington, DC, shortly before a pro-Trump mob overran the US Capitol, Miller gave a speech in which she talked about the importance of Republicans reaching young people and said, “Hitler was right on one thing: He said, whoever has the youth has the future.”
The statement drew condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League as well as Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois. Miller, a farmer and Sunday school teacher, was elected to her first term in November.
On Friday, Miller issued an apology that said she was an ally of the Jewish community as well as pro-Israel, though the speech did not appear to be about Israel. Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks thanked her for the statement.
Here’s the full clip. Incoming Illinois Congresswoman Mary Miller didn’t slip or improvise when she quoted Hitler and praised how the murderous Nazi built his political movement by indoctrinating youth. She was reading from prepared remarks. pic.twitter.com/xWPi2u8wB3
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) January 6, 2021
“I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth,” the statement said. “I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community.”
Initially, on Wednesday, Miller had claimed on Twitter that the statement “was a denunciation of evil dictators’ efforts to re-educate young people and similar efforts by left-wing radicals in our country today.” But the speech was not about dictators, and the statement came immediately after Miller spoke about how Republicans need to “win the hearts and minds of our children.”