West Virginia Senate Candidate Compares Anti-Smoking Regulations To The Holocaust

John Raese, Sarah Palin, and Ted Nugent

John Raese, a very wealthy Republican who may or may not live in West Virginia, was one of the most colorful Senate candidates of 2010 when he ran against now-Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). This year, he wants a rematch against Manchin (Raese has already lost three Senate races and one for governor), and Raese appears to have lost none of the qualities that led the Manchin campaign to call him “crazy” two years ago.

Speaking at the Putnam County Lincoln Day dinner recently, Raese compared his county’s smoking regulations to when “Hitler used to put [a] Star of David” on Jews:

RAESE: I don’t want government telling me what I can do and what I can’t do because I’m an American. But in Monongalia County you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke a cigar, you can’t do anything. And I oppose that. … I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. OK?

Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing.

Watch it:

In his last bid, Raese said the minimum wage was unconstitutional, said he wanted to take capitalism back to the days before child labor laws, blamed volcanoes for global warming, made fun of Chinese last names, and proudly proclaimed, “I made my money the old-fashioned way — I inherited it.” Perhaps most famously, one of Raese’s biggest ideas from 2010 was demanding “1,000 laser systems put in the sky” for missile defense. “And need it right now,” he added to demonstrate his seriousness. (HT: Politico’s Charlie Mahtesian)


Asked by Politico if the Hitler comparison was a misstatement, Raese said: “No, this is not a standard line, nor a misstatement. It is a loss of freedom,” Raese said. “As Ronald Reagan once said, there is no such thing as partial freedom, there is only freedom.”

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