* Background is here if you need it. WSPY Radio host Mark Harrington asked Sen. Darren Bailey about his comments comparing abortion to the Holocaust…
Q: Do you think the Jewish community needs an apology on that?
Bailey: [Laughs] The Jewish community themselves have told me that I’m right. Actually, that ad went out a day before we met with the Jewish, a day after we met with the Jewish community. And Pritzker, you know, knew that. So the timeliness was no mistake and all the people at the Chabads [he mispronounces as Cabads] that we met with and the Jewish rabbis they said, ‘No, you’re actually right.’ So no, and that’s what’s frustrating, you know, when government, when elected officials copy and paste these messages and turn them into something that they’re not because anybody that would watch my message, the whole nine minutes of it, would understand exactly what I was saying and where I was going with this.
OK, first of all, we’ve already debunked the notion that his comments were taken out of context. Click here.
I’ve asked the Bailey campaign for the names of those rabbis.
* Pritzker campaign…
Over the weekend, when asked again about his disgusting comments comparing the Holocaust to abortion, Darren Bailey doubled down, saying plainly:
“The Jewish community themselves have told me that I’m right.”
Bailey not only doubled down on his abhorrent statement, but scoffed when he said:
“The Jewish rabbis, they said, ‘No, you’re actually right.’”
Bailey’s comments have garnered widespread criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Over the weekend, Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso became the latest Republican to join the chorus of voices condemning Bailey: “Republicans who think they can get elected in November on their own merit must decide whether to distance themselves from and disavow the albatross at the top of the ticket.”
Mayor Grasso’s comments follow State Representative Steve Reick’s staunch criticism that, “Darren Bailey has crossed a line, a line which you just do not cross.” Even House Minority Leader Jim Durkin rebuked Bailey and stated that,“the Holocaust was one of the worst atrocities in the history of humankind and any comments that minimize it have no place in our political discourse.”
While Bailey may claim that the Jewish community told him he was “right,” non-partisan organizations and community leaders from across the state have strongly denounced his offensive language.
Here’s what they’re saying:
• Anti-Defamation League Midwest “The Holocaust and abortion are not the same. These types of comments have no place in public discourse. They are deeply offensive and do an incredible disservice to the millions of Jews and other innocent victims killed by the Nazis.”
• Springfield Jewish Federation “Holocaust comparisons are always fraught, and inappropriate when used politically. The Holocaust’s many lessons must be taught, one of which is avoiding using it as a rhetorical tool.”
• President Emeritus of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Samuel R. Harris “I am pained and disturbed by Darren Bailey’s reckless comments. This despicable rhetoric is dangerous, trivializes one of the worst stains on human history, and disparages the memory of millions. It is imperative that we learn from the past so that we never allow such tragedy to befall us again. We must demand more from our elected officials.”
• Governor JB Pritzker “To equate the Holocaust to a woman’s right to choose is not only disturbing, but it’s also disqualifying. Illinois, this kind of false equivalence shows exactly the type of man and leader Darren Bailey is.”
• U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth “Comparing the extreme horror of the Holocaust and its immeasurable loss to a woman’s right to choose is unacceptable—full stop. I urge my opponent, Kathy Salvi, to denounce Darren Bailey’s comments, but know she’s lockstep with her Republican running mate on women’s healthcare.”
• Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky “Darren Bailey has spent years sifting between racist and anti-Semitic dogwhistles and bullhorns. He’s unfit to lead and must be soundly defeated.”
• Congressman Mike Quigley “Darren Bailey’s remarks are anti-semitic and deeply offensive. He is in serious need of a history lesson.”
• Congressman Sean Casten “This is the talk of a racist and a misogynist. Darren Bailey may also be a idiot, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. In all cases, he is unfit for public office.”
• Congresswoman Marie Newman “This alone should end Bailey’s career in public service. Horrifying.”
• IL Comptroller Susana Mendoza “Darren Bailey’s reprehensible comparison of a woman’s right to make health care decisions concerning her own bodily autonomy to the horrific genocide of the Jewish people is a false equivalency to the highest degree. His statements are appalling, despicable and oozing of anti-semitism. Any and all Republicans seeking Illinoisians’ vote this November need to publicly condemn these extremist statements coming from the top of their ticket. Anything short of a forceful condemnation is an endorsement of this dangerous rhetoric that further insults the suffering and memories of victims of the Holocaust atrocity.”
• IL Attorney General Kwame Raoul “Darren Bailey is an extremist hell bent on destroying women’s rights. His comments comparing the horrific loss of life in the Holocaust to the right to choose make clear he is unfit and incapable for any office – let alone the governor’s office. The extremism of Bailey & his Republican Party is offensive & dangerous.”
• Assistant Majority Leader and DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez “The Democratic Party of Illinois is one of inclusion that will always speak out against intolerance. Illinoisans deserve to know if Republicans will stand by and allow offensive, hurtful and antisemitic statements made by their nominee for governor to go without admonishment or condemnation. Now that we’ve seen Darren Bailey’s antisemitic values and disregard for Jewish life, does the ILGOP agree?”
• State Representative Jen Gong-Gershowitz “Darren Bailey’s shameful use of the Holocaust proves he is unfit to lead Illinois.”
• State Representative Bob Morgan “Darren Bailey’s extremism knows no bounds. Comparing a woman’s right to choose to the catastrophic loss of life during the Holocaust is unconscionable and quite frankly, disqualifying. It is demeaning to the legacies of those we’ve lost to reduce their suffering to a political talking point. Darren Bailey is once again causing harm with his callous words and actions and he must be held accountable for this abhorrent behavior.”
• Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove “It’s bad enough that GOP Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey believes abortion should be criminalized in Illinois, even in cases of rape and incest, but now he is demeaning the Holocaust and the memory of those who were lost in and survived one of the greatest stains in human history. As someone who grew up in the Skokie area, an American epicenter of Holocaust survivors during the late 60s and early 70s, and attending Niles West High School then, I can’t even fathom the pain of hearing Darren Bailey’s comment: ‘The attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion.’ Personal PAC joins Governor Pritzker, the Jewish community and all decent Illinoisians in condemning the irresponsible and contemptuous comments of Darren Bailey. People who hold these dangerous views should have absolutely no place in government.”
• President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Jennifer Welch“Darren Bailey’s comparison between abortion and the Holocaust is an outrageously inaccurate and harmful trope used by the most radical elements of the anti-choice movement to propagate misinformation and hateful rhetoric about fundamental reproductive health care and the people seeking safe and legal abortions. The appropriation of the Holocaust is despicable and an insult to the millions who died as well as those who survived its racist agenda. In addition, it reveals a complete lack of understanding of history and the realities of the lives of people seeking abortion care. These kinds of statements are unbecoming of any elected official, let alone a candidate running for Governor of Illinois. Darren Bailey should immediately apologize for his inappropriate and hurtful words.”
• Illinois NOW President Laura Welch “Enough using the holocaust to justify hate. Enough using the slaughter of six million Jews, gypsies, lgbtq folks in an attempt to sway voters. Enough lies about history to cover up a disdain for women and our rights. Video released of republican candidate for Governor, Darren Bailey comparing the holocaust to reproductive healthcare goes too far and he needs a history lesson. Illinois NOW says ENOUGH…IL NOW works to ensure our state remains a safe haven for abortion care and not the dystopian anti-woman society Mr. Bailey dreams of…It is appalling that Mr. Bailey believes it is ok to use one of the most horrific annihilations in modern history to justify keeping us barefoot, pregnant and subjected to the whims of his religion. We MUST vote for pro-choice candidates such as IL NOW PAC endorsed JB Pritzker and keep religious zealotry out of our government and our bodies.”
…Adding… Mayor Lightfoot yesterday…
What you see is a guy who, depending on what camera’s in front of him, what audiences he’s in front of, is going to say and do anything to pander to that crowd.
She makes a good point and the Chicago news media needs to figure this out. He’ll tell Chicago reporters that he’s sorry for something, and then he’ll go Downstate and say something completely different and Chicago-based reporters totally ignore it.
*** UPDATE *** Forward…
Rabbi Avraham Kagan, the director of government affairs for Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, told the Forward, “We don’t know who he met with and his comments do not reflect our position.”