Dems call on Rep. West to apologize for Joseph Goebbels comparison

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) landed in hot water on Friday for his remarks the previous day comparing the Democrats’ proficiency in getting out their message to the notorious head of the Nazi Party’s propaganda department under Hitler.

“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West said Thursday.

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Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) sent West a note expressing his disappointment in the remark. “I beg of you to help raise the level of congressional discourse in vigorous debate without resort to personal attacks,” Conyers wrote in a handwritten note first obtained by Politico.

West’s remarks came even as Democrats and Republicans scrambled to reach a bipartisan agreement on a spending bill necessary to continue funding the government into the new year.

“Shame on him,” tweeted Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). “Rep. West needs to apologize now for insulting the memories of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust.”

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) also called on West to apologize.

“This is exactly the type of rhetoric that turns people off to Washington and getting involved in politics,” Ackerman said in a statement. “I call on Republicans and Democrats alike to join me in demanding an apology.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council was quick to condemn West for his comments on Thursday, accusing him of “invoking the Holocaust to make a political point.”

The Anti-Defamation League and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also released statements on Friday condemning West's remark. The DCCC called it "insulting" and sought to tie West to a pattern of "hateful remark[s]" employing Nazi references.

"Such outrageous Holocaust analogies have no place in our political dialogue. They are offensive, they trivialize real historical events, and they diminish the memory of the six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust," ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman said in a statement.

It’s not the first time West has voiced heated criticism of the other party. In July, West attacked Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in an email that called her “not a lady” and "the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

--This post was updated at 12:04 p.m.