A Democrat gubernatorial candidate in Florida is under fire after comparing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to Adolf Hitler.
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Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried made the comments over the weekend on Florida NPR stations when asked why she referred to the conservative rising star as a “dictator.”
“That’s exactly what Hitler did to the Jews back during World War II,” Fried claimed of DeSantis’ policies, adding he is “doing everything possible to take away power from local governments, taking away people’s abilities to protest. Making it harder to vote. Talking about banning books.”
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“Instead of listening and trying to govern with the people, he is trying to govern over the people, and, you know, that, I’m sorry, I’m a student of history, too. I saw the rise of Hitler, I learned those stories,” Fried added.
Co-host Melissa Ross pushed back: “Are you comparing DeSantis to Hitler?”
“In a lot of ways, yes,” she answered. “I have studied Hitler and how he got to power, you know, wanting his own militia…This governor is doing it for the sole purposes of power and doing so to make fear and to instill that, to blame people for what is happening in their lives, blaming certain parts of our society and culture, and that’s exactly what Hitler did to the Jews back during World War II.”
Fried was quickly lambasted but doubled down on her comparison in a tweet:
The Florida Anti-Defamation League said, “While public officials may have disagreements over policies, comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazism are inappropriate, offensive, and trivialize this unique tragedy in human history.”
“This comparison is repulsive, offensive, and minimizes Hitler’s evil crimes against humanity,” Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis wrote in an email.
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“If we had an honest media instead of DNC stenographers, reporters would be criticizing Nikki Fried‘s dishonest and offensive claim that Gov. DeSantis is the modern Hitler. Such a comparison trivializes Hitler’s crimes against humanity. This is not funny, it’s sick,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez told “Fox & Friends” that the Democrat candidate is no student of history, especially since DeSantis has protected people’s freedoms throughout the pandemic.
“And as it relates to our stands, Gov. DeSantis is the most pro-Israel governor in America,” she explained. “He has dedicated historic funding to protect Jewish day schools. He has fought the BDS movement, and made sure companies like Ben & Jerry’s are held accountable. And he’s prioritized Holocaust survivors throughout this entire pandemic.”
Republican Governors’ Association spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez called out Fried for stooping low to remain relevant.
“To invoke murderers like Hitler and Fidel Castro as a comparison to any elected official is disgusting and out of line,” Rodriguez said. “Florida Democrats up and down the ballot should condemn her rhetoric and call on Fried to do better and stop disgracing her office.”
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