The White House has spoken out against recent comments by Donald Trump calling political opponents “vermin,” due to concerning parallels with 20th-century dictators. Here’s the story.
The White House Condemns Trump
GOP runner-up Donald Trump has stirred the pot once again, after promising his supporters that he will “root out” his political opponents if he is re-elected as US president next year.
The White House has condemned his use of language, particularly the use of the word “vermin,” which has been compared to language used by historic dictators.
Veterans Day Speech
In a speech given at Stevens High School auditorium in Claremont, New Hampshire on Saturday, Trump gave a pledge to the packed room in his continued bid for re-election.
The controversial phrasing fell on Veterans Day, a coincidence that many have pointed out in recent days.
Putting America First
“We will put America first and today, especially in honor of our great veterans on Veterans Day,” he said. “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”
Condemnation of his comments came quickly, with White House spokesperson Andrew Bates declaring that “Employing words like ‘vermin’ to describe anyone who makes use of their basic right to criticize the government echoes dictators like Hitler and Mussolini.”
He also framed it as a slap in the face to US veterans from that era, saying that Trump’s words would be “unrecognizable to [US] founders,” but “horrifyingly recognizable to American veterans who put on their country’s uniform in the 1940s.”
Thoughts on Biden
“President Biden believes in his oath to our constitution, and in American democracy,” Bates concluded. “He works to protect both every day.”
His Campaign Speaks Up
Biden’s campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa also confronted the offending comments, saying “Donald Trump parroted the autocratic language of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini – two dictators many U.S. veterans gave their lives fighting, in order to defeat exactly the kind of un-American ideas Trump now champions.”
Historians Express Concern
And spokespeople for Biden’s campaign and the White House weren’t the only ones to call out Trump’s remarks – a number of prominent historians voiced concern over the speech’s historical parallels.
Remind You of Anyone?
NBC’s presidential historian Michael Beschloss commented online, writing “Please tell us if this reminds you of any earlier historical figure.”
And Yale University professor Jason Stanley was much more blunt in his approach, sharing his opinions on Trump’s comments with MSNBC.
“It doesn’t echo ‘Mein Kampf.’ This is textbook ‘Mein Kampf,'” he said. “Trump’s comments are remarkably evocative particularly of Hitler’s rants against Marxists and socialists — Hitler also decried pro-democratic forces as Marxist.”
Worse Than the 20s and 30s
“In another regard, this is worse than Nazi propaganda,” Stanley continued. “Bear in mind that there was actually a communist anti-democratic threat in Europe in the 1920s and ’30s, and there is none in America today.”
His Campaign Denies It
However, Trump’s spokesperson Steven Cheung has publically confronted and denied the comparisons to 20th-century dictators.
“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Cheung said. “And their sad, miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”
Trump vs Biden
With Trump dominating the Republican polls, it is increasingly likely that he and Biden will go toe-to-toe once again in the 2024 elections.
But Trump’s ascendency has been dragged down by the 91 criminal charges he currently faces, from election subversion to fraud to defamation.
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