California Democratic chair compared GOPs to Nazi Joseph Goebbels

<i>This post has been updated, as indicated below.</i>

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The chairman of the California Democratic Party likened Republicans to a Nazi propagandist Monday morning.

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie … Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” John Burton told reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle and CBS News before a delegation breakfast.

He said GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”


Goebbels was the Nazis’ minister of propaganda. California Gov. Jerry Brown got in trouble in 2010 for comparing his GOP opponent Meg Whitman to Goebbels.

PHOTOS: The protests of the DNC

Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced on Burton’s remark, calling on President Obama, DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa and Brown to repudiate it.

A spokesman for Obama said the statement does not reflect the views of the campaign.

“That doesn’t have any place in the political discourse here in Charlotte,” Ben LaBolt said, when asked about the matter by reporters Monday morning. He didn’t answer when a reporter asked if the Obama campaign would ask Burton to step down.

Burton, the longtime leader of California Democrats, is known for his spontaneous, often profanity-laced pronouncements.

Mitt Romney’s campaign responded with a statement from former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, the National Co-Chairman of the Romney-Jewish coalition.


“President Obama promised to lift up American politics. Unfortunately, some of his supporters, by employing rhetoric that has no place in our political system, are bringing it down to the gutter,” he said. “The comments by California Democratic Chair John Burton likening the Republican Party to Nazis and Joseph Goebbels are just such an instance. All people of good will should repudiate such disgraceful words.”

Matt Connelly, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, also weighed in.

“Chairman Burton’s comments are outrageous and insulting to all Americans. It’s become clear that with no record to run on and no plan for the future, President Obama and his allies will resort to the lowest attacks possible to divert attention away from the fact that Americans are worse off today than they were four years ago,” he said.

[For the Record, 11:15 p.m. PST Sept. 3: This post has been updated to include the Romney campaign and RNC’s responses.]

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