Norm Coleman blasts Cali Democrat John Burton after he compares Paul Ryan to Goebbels

After Burton (left) compared Ryan to Goebbels, the Romney ticket turned to Coleman for a response.
After Burton (left) compared Ryan to Goebbels, the Romney ticket turned to Coleman for a response.

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Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman spoke on behalf of aggrieved Republicans everywhere after John Burton, chair of the California Democratic Party, compared Paul Ryan's RNC lying to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

"They lie and they don't care if people think they lie... Joseph Goebbels -- it's the big lie, you keep repeating it," Burton told the SFGate during a DNC breakfast event yesterday.

Burton specifically referenced a part of Ryan's RNC speech where he suggested President Obama was responsible for the shutdown of General Motors' Janesville plant, despite the fact the plant actually closed in December 2008, a month before Obama even took office.

From the Huffington Post:

[Ryan said] "Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, 'I believe that if our government is there to support you... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year."

Characterizing Ryan as a "horse's ass," Burton called that claim a "bold-faced lie," adding that the VP nominee "doesn't care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie."

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt quickly told reporters that Burton's comments don't "reflect the views of the campaign," but that didn't stop Norm, who has been working as a "special adviser" for Romney's campaign for nearly a year, from issuing a statement connecting the Goebbels comparison with Obama's alleged pledge to elevate political rhetoric (Google searches yielded no proof Obama ever made such a promise).

"President Obama promised to lift up American politics," Coleman said. "Unfortunately, some of his supporters, by employing rhetoric that has no place in our political system, are bringing it down to the gutter. The comments by California Democratic Chair John Burton likening the Republican Party to Nazis and Joseph Goebbels are just such an instance."

Burton has since issued a measured apology.

"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," Burton said, adding that he never explicitly compared Republicans writ large to Nazis.

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