A northwestern Minnesota chapter of the state Republican Party drew criticism Tuesday for a Facebook post comparing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to Adolf Hitler.
The now-deleted post, shared by the Clay County Republican Party of Minnesota’s Facebook account, featured side-by-side images of the Nazi leader and Sanders, a recent entrant into the 2020 presidential race. A list of alleged similarities between the political philosophies and policy positions of Hitler, a German dictator who orchestrated the killing of 6 million Jews, and Sanders, a democratic socialist who is himself Jewish, accompanies the photos. “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes,” the caption reads.
Jewish Community Action condemned the post as “absurd,” “disgusting” and “unquestionably, unapologetically, anti-Semitic,” noting that Sanders has said his relatives died in the Holocaust. In a series of tweets, the group called on the Republican Party of Minnesota to apologize.
In a statement, the Clay County Republicans apologized and said the post shared by a volunteer had been taken down. “Whether it’s the Democrats comparing Donald Trump to Hitler or Republicans comparing Bernie Sanders to Hitler, it is wrong, stupid, and inappropriate,” the statement said.
State GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said the Facebook comment was not appropriate.
“We have called on the local Republican unit to remove this post and hold themselves to a higher standard in the future. We must, Republicans and Democrats alike, do better to dispel hate and come together as Americans,” she said in a statement.
Local party affiliates generally are run by volunteers and serve as an organizational base for the state party.
The backlash to the GOP group’s post comes just two weeks after Republican leaders, including Carnahan, called on Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign from a House committee post over a tweet she shared that was widely condemned as anti-Semitic. Omar has apologized for that tweet.