GOP gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari on Wednesday called Republican rival Tim Donnelly's comparison of President Obama to Hitler and Stalin "outrageous."
"Some people are so desperate for attention they're willing to say anything," the former U.S Treasury official told reporters at a campaign stop in the San Joaquin Valley town of Delano.
Donnelly, an Assemblyman from San Bernardino County who is also running for governor, suggested Tuesday in a post on Twitter that Obama's views on gun control resembled those of the dictators.
He later defended it, saying government encroachment on citizens' rights amounts to tyranny, "the daily purpose of dictators….I will not apologize for pointing out that our current president acts more like a dictator than a leader of a free people in a Constitutional Republic."
The lawmaker has made expansion of gun rights a central issue in his campaign and criticized Kashkari, a gun owner, for not sharing his views.
In 2012, Donnelly was caught at Ontario Airport with a handgun that was not registered to him and was placed on probation for three years. Donnelly said he had accidentally left it in his briefcase.
Donnelly said "he never got around" to registering the weapon and has refused to answer additional questions about his purchase of it.