Perry Gershon, Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY) Democrat challenger in November’s forthcoming congressional election, said in February at a Democratic primary forum in Suffolk County, NY, that he “was struck by the parallels between the rise of Donald Trump today and the rise of Hitler back then.”
Partial transcript below:
I’m running for Congress, and let me tell you a little bit about myself and my background very briefly. In 1980, I cast my first vote for president, and I had just become of age, and I worked for Ted Kennedy’s campaign in the primary, and that identified me with the progressive wing of Democrats, and I’ve been a lifelong Democrat.
I went on, and I opened a sports bar and I worked in business for many years, but in 2016, my son Logan got involved in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and he and I together went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington in June, and I was struck by the parallels between the rise of Donald Trump today and the rise of Hitler back then. And I just said to myself that we have to stand up and make sure this doesn’t happen in America, and I followed the 2016 election very closely from that point on.
And when Trump won, I just said, “We, or I as a person, need to step up and fight back.” We all as people — Democrats, but also Americans — need to step up and fight this wave of what could be authoritarianism, and if you look at what’s happened recently, it sure seems to be going that way. So, I decided the best way I can fight the battle is to challenge Lee Zeldin for the office.
My campaign … stands for Democratic values. I think I’m going to focus more on jobs and infrastructure, on protecting the environment, fighting climate change, and on health care. We need universal health care, an ideally Medicare for all.
Gershon’s comments were not challenged or repudiated at the time by anyone in attendance.
Donald Trump Jr. and Andrew Surabian addressed the recently resurfaced comments via Twitter:
This is the Democrat Party of 2018.
How sick and deranged does someone has to be to compare POTUS to a madman who ruthlessly slaughtered millions of people?
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 23, 2018
Adolf Hitler massacred millions of innocent people.
Comparing @realDonaldTrump to Hitler is both unhinged & grotesque.
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) July 22, 2018
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