Richard Cordray Refuses to Apologize for Comparing Republicans to Nazi Collaborators

It's been two days since The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported on Richard Cordray’s offensive comments comparing Republicans to Nazi collaborators, but Cordray has refused to apologize, only claiming he “regrets” how his words were received.

Not a single Democrat candidate has spoken out against Cordray either. Does Sherrod Brown agree with this dangerous rhetoric? How about Steve Dettelbach, Kathleen Clyde, Zack Space or Rob Richardson? 

Is the Ohio Democratic Party content with its candidate for Governor equating the atrocities of the Nazis to a difference in opinion on policy decisions? 

The Republican Jewish Coalition said it best:

The escalation of anti-Republican rhetoric from Democrats like Maxine Waters has already led to nasty confrontations across the country. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi had to receive a police escort to leave a theatre. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is now receiving Secret Service protection after threats were made against her family. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was shouted out of a restaurant. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao were confronted by group men who were held back by security.  

Do Ohio Democrats support these types of confrontations? How far are they willing to go?

Richard Cordray's irresponsible comments have the potential to cause more nasty confrontations here in Ohio. He must apologize, and Ohio Democrats must be better.


PX column: Why did Richard Cordray link some Ohio Republicans to Nazi collaborators?

In the age of Donald Trump, Nazi references are way out of control in American political discourse.

How out of hand? Even some of the wonky, nice guys in politics are making them.

But that doesn't excuse Democratic Ohio gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, who made a bizarre comment likening some Republicans to Nazi collaborators while speaking in Lima before last month's primary.

WHAT HE SAID: Working together to solve problems has not been the "philosophy" of Republican Gov. John Kasich and statehouse Republicans, Cordray said, according to a video clip of the speech obtained by Politics Extra. Cordray questions why locally elected Republicans across the state aren't "speaking up about this." 

Cordray then added: "Somebody said to me last month that they’re 'Vichy Republicans,' which I didn’t fully understand. I guess that’s 'Vichy France' during World War II, the ones who went over and collaborated with the Nazis."

Standing next to a decorative wreath hanging on a wall, Cordray raised both hands as he said "Vichy Republicans." A few people in the audience could be heard chuckling.

WTH? The context wasn't entirely clear in the 45-second video from Cordray's speech to the Allen County Democratic Party Women's Club on March 8. His campaign did not answer Politics Extra's questions about what prompted him to make the comments.

But it's believed Cordray was referring to Gov. Kasich's 2011 decision to drastically cut the state's local government fund, which has put a squeeze on counties, towns and townships across the state. If elected, Cordray hopes to restore the local government fund.

The video surfaces at a time when Cordray and Democrats might be gaining momentum ahead of the November midterms. Democrats are hoping to capitalize on a potential Trump resistance in Ohio, and a recent Enquirer/Suffolk University poll showed Cordray leading Republican Mike DeWine in the governor's race.

CORDRAY RESPONDS: "Rich believes Ohioans deserve elected representatives who will stand up for what's right, even if that means speaking out against people of their own party," Mike Gwin, Cordray's campaign spokesman, told Politics Extra. "He regrets repeating someone else's inappropriate comparison in making that point."

Why did Cordray even go there? Nazi analogies almost never go over well, and Cordray could've made his point without such a reference. Call Republicans a bunch of "yellow-bellied cowards" or any related synonyms for not taking a stand.

But it's unfair and irresponsible to broadly compare Republicans to Nazi collaborators, something some of President Donald Trump's biggest critics have done too often. It was uncharacteristic of Cordray, a thoughtful policy wonk who's not known for being a verbal bomb thrower.

Read more here.


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