The HillTube

GOP Senate candidate compares smoking laws to Nazis' Jewish star

"I don't want government telling me what I can do and what I can't do, because I'm an American," Raese said during the Putnam County Lincoln Day dinner. "But in Monongalia County you can't smoke a cigarette, you can't smoke a cigar, you can't do anything. And I oppose that because I believe in everybody’s individual freedoms and everybody’s individual rights to do what they want to do and I’m a conservative and that’s the way that goes.

"I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke-free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. OK? Remember, Hitler used to put the Star of David on everybody's lapel, remember that? Same thing," he continued.

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jews in Nazi concentration camps "were identified by a yellow star sewn onto their prison uniforms, a perversion of the Jewish Star of David symbol." The patch become a symbol of persecution during the Holocaust.

Raese went on to compare the stickers to those affixed to buildings during the New Deal and compare President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who directed much of the government infastructure spending during the Great Depression, to communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

"Do you remember the NRA, not the National Rifle Association, but the National Recovery Act, that General Roosevelt was in charge of the presidency at the time? It was so unconstitutional, and so many regulations, that he made you put an NRA sticker on your building so you complied with these regulations. That was Fidel Roosevelt," Raese said.

Raese, who lost by 10 points to Manchin in a 2010 special election, has frequently made controversial remarks on the campaign trail. During the 2010 effort, the Manchin campaign released a television ad that featured a montage of Raese speeches with a narrator declaring, "John Raese's ideas are crazy."

More in In the News

Christie: Kerry should 'get some sleep and shut up'

Read more »