Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) defended his oft-used analogies comparing President Donald Trump and his administration to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany amid widespread criticism.
“It is the comparison of last resort and that is where we are,” O’Rourke replied when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer questioned if he understood the backlash coming from Democrats and Republicans alike.
“I don’t mean the last resort politically or last resort in terms of defeating the president in November,” he explained. “[I mean] the last resort for this country that is descending into open racism and intolerance and violence led by the president.”
“Now, whether it is what he said about Muslims or immigrants or the way he treats women of color in this country, or the fact that he described Klansman and Neo-Nazis as very fine people, we can’t fail to connect the dots and draw the conclusion about the danger that President Trump poses to this country,” O’Rourke added, citing a distorted statement that the president made while condemning a group of white supremacists at a white pride rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
BETO on comparing Trump to Hitler: “Find me a better analogy”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 21, 2019
While O’Rourke has been a longtime critic of Trump, his racial allegations toward the president significantly ramped up following a deadly mass shooting that occurred in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso, Texas, earlier in the summer.
Just hours after the shooting was carried out, the former Texas congressman appeared on multiple news programs accusing Trump of being a “white supremacist” and “avowed racist” who incited the mass murders.
O’Rourke, however, has made multiple comparisons between the president and Nazis since launching his bid for the presidency. In late July, he likened Trump’s campaign rally to a Nuremberg rally and, weeks later, he argued that Trump’s rhetoric is similar to someone in Nazi Germany’s Third Reich.
O’Rourke made waves on Sunday while discussing with MSNBC host Al Sharpton the White House response to Turkey’s invasion of Syria and the decision to host the next G-7 Summit at one of Trump’s properties.
“President Trump, perhaps inspired by [Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph] Goebbels and the propagandists of the Third Reich, seems to employ this tactic that the bigger the lie, the more obscene the injustice,” O’Rourke said at the time. “The more dizzying the pace of this bizarre behavior, the less likely we are to be able to do something about it.”
The response even caught Sharpton off-guard, who then asked the Democratic presidential candidate if he heard him correctly.
“That’s right. There’s so much that is resonant of the Third Reich in this administration, whether it is attempting to ban all people of one religion and saying that Muslims are somehow inherently dangerous or defective or disqualified,” O’Rourke said. “Outside of Nazi Germany, it’s hard for me to find another modern democracy that had the audacity to say something like this.”
“Then, this idea from Goebbels and Hitler that the bigger the lie and the more often you repeat it, the more likely people are to believe it,” he continued. “That is Donald Trump to a T.”
O’Rourke subsequently doubled down on his remarks when confronted by Blitzer on the inflammatory statements.
“Is that not going too far to make a comparison between the President of the United States and the Nazis?” Blitzer asked.
“Find me a better analogy of another leader of a western democracy describing all people of one religion as inherently defective, or disqualified, or dangerous,” O’Rourke replied. “That is what the president has done when it came to Muslims.”
“Seeking to ban all Muslims from this country, repeating the lie that Mexican immigrants pose a violent risk to this country — calling them animals and predators and rapists and criminals,” he continued. “Asking four women of color elected by constituents to Congress to go back to their home country, and having an almost Nuremberg-like rally where people are chanting ‘send her back,’ or inviting the kind of violence based on the racism that he’s inspired, where you have another crowd cheering when someone says ‘shoot them’ when the president asks ‘what do we do about the immigrants?'”
“It doesn’t just offend our sensibilities, it poses a violent risk to our fellow Americans,” O’Rourke added.