Arizona Lawmaker: When I Called Obama ‘Der Fuhrer’ I Didn’t Mean Hitler

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"Arizona Lawmaker: When I Called Obama ‘Der Fuhrer’ I Didn’t Mean Hitler"

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Arizona State Rep. Brenda Barton (R), who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler in a Facebook post and in remarks to a newspaper on Monday, now claims that she never made the comparison.

After a post urging citizens to encourage their local sheriffs to consider “revoking the arrest powers (that they granted in the first place) to federal agents operating within their county.” Barton minced no words, calling Obama “De Fuhrer [sic]” and urging local sheriffs to arrest park rangers who enforce rules keeping people out of National Parks that are closed due to the federal government shutdown:

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Asked about it by the Arizona Capitol Times later that day, Barton stood by her Adolf Hitler analogy. “He’s dictating beyond his authority,” she explained, “It’s not just the death camps. [Hitler] started in the communities, with national health care and gun control. You better read your history. Germany started with national health care and gun control before any of that other stuff happened. And Hitler was elected by a majority of people.” In truth, Hitler was appointed chancellor after being defeated in the 1932 presidential election.

But Wednesday, Barton released a statement denying her earlier remarks. After claiming that she “never used the word or said that President Obama was ‘Hitler,'” she explained:

What I did suggest, rather directly, was that the National Park Service enforcement personnel (referring to them as “thugs” for their reported behavior) were simply following orders of “their leader” – and I used the German phrase for emphasis, Der Fuhrer. I am referencing the Presidents behavior as indicated by his actions. The Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines “Fuhrer” as “(2) a leader exercising tyrannical authority.”

While the term “fuhrer” does mean leader, suggested that “Der Fuhrer” (“The Leader”) could refer to anyone other than Adolf Hitler would be akin to claiming “Honest Abe” isn’t a reference to President Lincoln.

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