American Jewish Committee condemns Gingrich's Nazi comparison -- will Fox?

The American Jewish Committee yesterday condemned Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich for writing in his latest book that President Obama's “secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” In a statement, AJC executive director David Harris says the comments are a “foolish and dangerous analogy” that “diminishes the horror of the Holocaust,” and calls on Republican leaders to “say clearly that such analogies are unacceptable.”

It remains to be seen whether those leaders -- or Gingrich's Fox News employers -- will take such action. For his part, Gingrich continues to defend the comments, stating that he made a “reasoned and compelling argument” in an appearance on Fox's On the Record this evening.

On Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace read Gingrich's comments to him and asked, “Mr. Speaker, respectfully, isn't that wildly over the top?” Similarly, this morning, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called his comments “sick,” “shameful,” and “so over the top,” adding, “I hope you apologize.”

The AJC statement reads:

AJC urged the leadership of the Republican Party to condemn the assertion in a new book authored by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, that the Obama Administration's policy agenda is as “great a threat to America as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.”

“By invoking the current Administration in the same breath as two murderous totalitarian states, Newt Gingrich has drawn a foolish and dangerous analogy,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Gingrich's linkage not only diminishes the horror of the Holocaust, it also licenses the use of extremist language in contemporary America.”

In media interviews promoting his book, “To Save America,” Gingrich has claimed that the Obama Adminstration is a “secular socialist machine” which represents an equivalent danger to the Nazi and Soviet regimes. While he has stressed that he did not draw a moral comparison, when speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News, Gingrich warned, “we are going to be in a country which no longer resembles America.”

“It is vital that the Republican leadership say clearly that such analogies are unacceptable,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, as the recent controversy over the new immigration law in Arizona also demonstrates, demonizing political opponents as Nazis is becoming all too common in American political debate.”