The Clay County Republican Party of Minnesota’s official Facebook page shared a post on Monday comparing Bernie Sanders, 2016 presidential hopeful turned 2020 presidential hopeful, to one of history's greatest monsters: Adolf Hitler.
Hitler and the U.S. senator from Vermont are allegedly similar in the following ways, according to the post’s bulleted list: “gun control,” calling themselves “socialist[s],” advocating for a “heavily regulated economy,” and belief that “state power” and a “political revolution” will fix their respective nations. While Hitler “blamed the Jews for Germany’s problems,” the meme states, Sanders “blames the rich for America’s problems.”
The image appears to have originated five days ago via this right-wing Instagram account. The Clay County Republican Party added the caption, “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes.”
Here's a screengrab of the recently deleted post:
This is an… interesting… comparison, as many Facebook and Twitter commenters pointed out. For obvious starters, Sanders' left-leaning political platform includes nothing about genocide, plus Sanders is “proud to be Jewish.”
“…My father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust,” he told CNN back in 2016. “I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean.”
Among the criticisms from angry commenters: “You guys do know the Nazis were not socialists, right?” and “Which Russian troll farm made this BS?”
Minnesota group Jewish Community Action issued this statement:
Earlier today we saw this post from the @mnGOP in Clay County, comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders to Hitler.— JCA MN (@JCA_MN) February 26, 2019
There are a LOT of reasons this is a ridiculous, spurious comparison, and even more reasons why its deeply offensive, and anti-Semitic. pic.twitter.com/jo93pq7FFc
The Republican Party of Minnesota offered this indictment:
The recent FB post by a volunteer with Clay County GOP is not appropriate & we do not condone these actions or their sentiment. We have called on the local GOP unit to remove the post. We must, Republicans & Democrats alike, do better to dispel hate & come together as Americans.— MNGOP (@mngop) February 26, 2019
The Republicans of Clay County later sent the following statement in response:
"The recent post that was shared by a volunteer on the Facebook page for the Clay County Republican Party has 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. We sincerely apologize."
Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism resonated with Minnesotans during the 2016 presidential primary. He came away from the Minnesota caucuses with about 62 percent of the Democratic vote, while his rival, eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, snagged only 39 percent.