GOP House Candidate Backed by Party Leadership Said Hitler Is 'The Kind of Leader We Need'

A Republican congressional candidate praised Adolf Hitler during a radio appearance last year, according to audio revealed by watchdog group Media Matters on Thursday.

Carl Paladino, whose campaign for New York’s 23rd Congressional District is backed by House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), made the comments to “The r-House Radio Show” host Peter Hunt on Feb. 13, 2021.

Hunt asked Paladino, a Buffalo businessman and former gubernatorial candidate, how to “rouse the population” since many people think voicing their opinion is futile. “How do you get people thinking about the possibility of change here in New York state and what that might mean…for everyone here?”

“I was thinking the other day about somebody had mentioned on the radio Adolf Hitler and how he aroused the crowds,” Paladino replied. “And he would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just — they were hypnotized by him … I guess that’s the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it.”

Paladino’s comparison mirrors one made in April by Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley, who claimed that the homeless should be inspired by Hitler. “He practiced his oratory and body language and how to connect with citizens, and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books,” Niceley said during debate on a bill designed to essentially push the homeless further to the margins of society.

Just as Niceley has his own history of fringe comments, like saying “it’s too early to tell” whether the South lost the Civil War, Paladino has embarrassed himself by other means.

Media Matters reported Wednesday that Paladino on June 1 shared a Facebook post purportedly written by someone named Jeff Briggs that pushed the conspiracy theory that the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, were false flag attacks designed to enable Democrats to “revoke the 2nd amendment.” When asked about this, Paladino at first denied posting it only to later fess up to “carelessly republish[ing] it without clearly reading it.” Paladino also admitted to sending out an email blast of the same post.

Paladino announced his candidacy on June 3 after Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs declined to run for reelection, citing how his support for a federal assault weapons ban in the wake of the shootings became unpalatable to the GOP establishment.

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