On Monday night, GOP Congressman Randy Weber caused a stir when he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.
The Texas Congressman criticized President Obama on Twitter for his absence at Sunday’s Unity Rally in response to terror attack in Paris, which many other world leaders attended. Weber tweeted: “Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for right reasons.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Weber apologized for his tweet. In a statement, Weber said: "I need to first apologize to all those offended by my tweet. It was not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the President to Adolf Hitler. The mention of Hitler was meant to represent the face of evil that still exists in the world today. I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate."
Weber is not the only Republican to criticize Obama for his absence at the rally, but he is the first to link the faux pas to Hitler. However, comparing the president to the infamous Nazi leader has become something of past-time for people on the far right fringe. Singer Hank Williams, Jr. , author Orson Scott Card and radio host Rush Limbaugh, are just a few of the notable figures who have made the connection.
Weber has received over 1000 retweets, and was mentioned almost 4,000 times on Monday night as Twitter users responded to his remarks.
On Tuesday morning, Democratic Congressman Steve Israel condemned Weber's tweet and demanded an apology, saying: "Rep. Weber's tweet is vile and stoops to a new low level by desecrating the victims of the Holocaust to make a political point. At a time when we should be coming together in the wake of the attacks in Paris, Rep. Weber turned instead to hate. While I, too, disagree with the President's absence in Paris, there is a proper way to express that disagreement, unlike Rep. Weber's tweet. I call on all Members of Congress to immediately condemn this language, and I demand that Rep. Weber apologize for his complete lack of judgment. In the wake of the controversy surrounding Majority Whip Steve Scalise's (R-LA) speech at a gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders in 2002, Rep. Weber's tweet is evident of a disturbing trend of hate emanating from House Republicans."
President Obama was slammed by several prominent Republicans for the U.S.’s notable absence at the Paris rally. In a speech on Monday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz criticized the White House in a speech, saying “Where was the president? Where was the vice president? Where was the secretary of state? Where was the attorney general who’d been there moments before but chose to get on a plane and fly back home?”
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted that the White House “should have sent someone with a higher profile” to attend the rally.
The rally on Sunday, held in the wake of the string of deadly terror attacks that shook France, was the largest rally in France’s history. French media estimate as many as 1.5 million people were in attendance, as well as 40 world leaders. World leaders in attendance included UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many others.