Third Democratic official reportedly likens Republicans to Nazis

Published September 05, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Another Democratic official on Wednesday invoked Nazis while describing Republicans, in the third such incident this week as Democratic leaders gathered in Charlotte for their national convention. 

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian compared the state’s Republican female governor, Nikki Haley, to Adolf Hitler’s mistress and eventual wife, while speaking Wednesday at a delegation breakfast in Charlotte, according to The State newspaper.

“She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun,” Harpootlian reportedly said, referring to Haley’s daily news briefings inside a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Reached by FoxNews.com, Harpootlian disputed any suggestion he was making a comparison to Nazis. 

"I wasn't saying she is Eva Braun or is like Eva Braun. I was saying she is hiding out. ... She is reclusive. She is not transparent," he said. "I wasn't comparing her to Eva Braun other than she was in a bunker. I don't even know much about Eva Braun, just that she hung out in a bunker."

Amanda Loveday, the state party’s executive director, also told FoxNews.com, “I don’t think it was a comparison,” and said Harpootlian is “misrepresented a lot.”

The reported remark was the third case this week of a Democrat seeking to draw comparisons between Republicans or Republicans tactics and Nazis.

Pat Lehman, the dean of the Kansas Democratic delegation, likened the talking points of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to the “big lie” strategy used by the Nazis, according to a report by the Wichita Eagle.

“It’s like Hitler said, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you,” Lehman reportedly said this week.

Lehman was speaking about the Republican push for tougher voter-identifications laws when she made the comment, according to the newspaper. Republicans say the laws are needed to combat voter fraud, but Lehman and other Democrats argue voter fraud isn't a serious threat and claim the Republican effort is nothing but a drive to suppress votes among Democratic-leaning constituencies.

A spokeswoman with the Kansas Democratic Party was not immediately available for comment when contacted Wednesday. 

Similarly, the chairman of the California Democratic Party earlier this week compared Republican tactics -- and specifically Paul Ryan's convention remarks -- to the tactics of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

California Democratic chief John Burton made the remarks Monday in an interview with San Francisco station KCBS while in Charlotte, N.C.

"They lie and they don't care if people think they lie ... Joseph Goebbels -- the big lie, you keep repeating it," Burton said. "That was Goebbels, the big lie."

Republicans quickly condemned the language. The California GOP called it "desperate, deranged rhetoric" that Democrats were using to "distract" voters from their "failed record."

Burton later issued a statement claiming he didn't actually call Republicans Nazis and noting he didn't actually use the word "Nazi" -- though he made repeated references to Goebbels.

"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," he said.

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