WASHINGTON – Democratic National Committee (search) chairman Terry McAuliffe (search) urged his Republican counterpart on Friday to denounce GOP gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) for allegedly expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler years ago.
Schwarzenegger, film star and leading Republican candidate in the California recall, reportedly told an interviewer that he admired Hitler's rise from humble beginnings to political power. Schwarzenegger now says he doesn't recall making those comments.
"Just this afternoon, I sent a letter to RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, calling on him to denounce the remarks made by Arnold Schwarzenegger expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler," McAuliffe said. "There's no place for those kind of comments in either party."
Asked about McAuliffe's call, Republican National Committee (search) spokeswoman Christine Iverson responded, "The California recall will be decided by the people of California," and she focused on Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, the subject of the recall effort.
"Gray Davis's use of the politics of personal destruction is so well-documented that his own party warned him to clean up his tactics when the recall began," Iverson said. "We hope the things that have been said recently about Arnold Schwarzenegger aren't an example of Gray Davis returning to his old ways as he starts to slide in the polls."
At the Democratic National Committee fall meeting, presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (search) had fun at the expense of some well-known Republicans.
"After reading the paper this morning about the pill-popping and skirt-chasing and Hitler-praising, it would be very tempting to point out Republican hypocrisy on values," the Connecticut senator said.
"But would that be the right thing to do?" He paused, then added amid laughter: "Absolutely."
Schwarzenegger also has apologized for treating women improperly.