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GOP Congressman Apologizes for Holocaust Remarks

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) apologized after invoking the Holocaust in reference to federal student loans.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 9/9/2012, 8:29 PM

American flag at student rally
American flag at student rally
Reuters

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) apologized after invoking the Holocaust at two Town Hall meetings in reference to the constitutionality of federal student loans and the Patriot Act.

In his initial comments at a town hall in meeting on Wednesday, Bartlett had argued that the federal government lacked the authority under the Constitution to offer student loans and warned of a “slippery slope” if the Constitution is disregarded.

“If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad,” he said.

He cited the Nazi’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish people during World War II as an example of “something bad.”

”The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

After initially defending Bart­lett’s statement, his campaign issued an apology Thursday afternoon.

“While explaining my position on an important Constitutional issue I regrettably used an extreme example as a comparison that was ill-advised and inappropriate,” Bartlett later said in a statement. “I should never use something as horrific as the Holocaust to make a political point, and I deeply apologize to anyone I may have offended.”

Bartlett's Democratic opponent, financier John Delaney, issued a statement saying, "Congressman Bartlett's comments about the Holocaust are terribly insensitive and shockingly inappropriate. His comments about federal student loans reflect an utter lack of understanding of what's needed to move America forward and create good paying jobs."

Bartlett’s remarks come amid a recent wave of inappropriate Holocaust analogies made largely by Democratic politicians.