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Rival Accuses Jewish Republican of Being 'Candidate of Big Lie'

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) released a new ad against his Republican rival Josh Mandel, accusing him of using the “big lie” Nazi strategy
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 9/9/2012, 1:59 PM

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) released a new attack ad Friday against his Republican rival Josh Mandel, accusing him of using the “big lie” strategy.

The term “big lie,” which was coined by Adolf Hitler and is commonly associated with Nazi propaganda, is particularly offensive due to the fact that Mandel is Jewish.

The ad, which appears in the video below, states: “Josh Mandel: He has become the candidate of the big lie,” citing a Columbus Dispatch columnist as the source for the quote. It argues that Mandel has made numerous false statements, including those about his career as state treasurer.

This is not the first time Brown has linked his opponents to Nazis. In March 2011 he publicly apologized after comparing Republican governors pushing union reforms to Hitler and Stalin in a speech on the Senate floor.

“I look back in history (and) some of the worst governments that we’ve ever had, do you know one of the first things they did? They went after the trade unions. Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions, (former Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak didn’t want independent unions. These autocrats in history don’t want independent unions,” Brown had said at the time.

Later, he backtracked saying, “I am not comparing what’s happened to the workers in Madison or in Columbus to Hitler and Stalin.”

The latest Nazi analogy comes amid back-to-back Nazi comparisons made by Democratic candidates last week.

On Monday, top California Democrat John Burton likened Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's speech at the Republic National Convention to the lies of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.  

One day later, Pat Lehman, a top Kansas Democrat, compared Ryan to Adolf Hitler, similarly evoking the “big lie” strategy.

South Carolina Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian then followed by comparing his state's Republican female governor, Nikki Haley, to Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun.

In response to the many inappropriate analogies, the Anti-Defamation League urged political candidates and their supporters to "stop invoking and trivializing the Holocaust."