Smoking Law Like Nazis' Jewish Star: GOP Candidate

Senate candidate John Raese slammed for bizarre analogy

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 20, 2012 3:24 AM CDT | Updated Apr 20, 2012 3:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Smokers are getting treated like Jews did in Nazi Germany, according to West Virginia Republican John Raese. "I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke-free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County, " complained Raese at an event in his campaign for US Senate. "Remember Hitler used to put a Star of David on everybody’s lapel? Same thing." He went on to rant about "Fidel" Roosevelt's policies.

Jewish groups slammed the analogy, but Raese is unrepentant, reports the Charleston Gazette. "I don't see anything that's incorrect in any of the statements I made," he said. "It's all very factual." The chief of the National Jewish Democratic Council said: "Comparing smoking restrictions to the Holocaust is never acceptable on any day of the year. But for West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese to apparently defend those comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day takes the insensitivity and callousness of his remarks to the next level."

John Raese applauds as Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign event in 2010.
John Raese applauds as Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign event in 2010.   (Getty Images)
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Raese talks about smoking laws and "Fidel Roosevelt."   (Raese Flubs)

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