ILLINOIS (NEXSTAR) — Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling on Illinois’ newest member of Congress to resign her seat a mere four days after she swore the oath of office.
U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R) from Illinois’ 15th District drew swift statewide backlash from leaders in both parties after she quoted Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in prepared remarks outside the U.S. Capitol earlier this week.
“It is absolutely repugnant, obscene and unacceptable for any American – let alone a supposed ‘leader’ serving in Congress – to claim Adolf Hitler was right about anything,” Duckworth said.
Miller issued this statement on Friday:
“Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness.”Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL)
“To say that the perpetrator of the greatest genocide in world history should be a model for any type of behavior, much less the indoctrination of children with hatred, racism and fascist ideals, is disqualifying for an American elected official,” she said. “I cannot condemn in harsher terms Mary Miller’s despicable comments in the run-up to yesterday’s coup attempt, and I call on her to resign immediately so that someone who better understands the sacrifices our brave service members made during World War II can more effectively represent our state.”
State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield), who sat next to Miller’s husband, state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) on the floor of the House chamber, issued a similar statement on Twitter rebuking her comments and comparing them to his father’s military service in World War Two.
Miller’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment after numerous elected officials and Jewish advocacy groups called for her to apologize.
The president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder sharply condemned her words.
“It is simply outrageous and obscene for anyone to hold out Hitler, who perpetrated the greatest genocide in history, as a role model for any reason,” Ambassador Lauder said. “One might expect this from white supremacists or neo-Nazis, but hearing the words ‘Hitler was right’ from the mouth of a member of the United States Congress is beyond acceptable behavior by any standards.”
Her new government Twitter account doubled down on the statement, and clarified to say she intended to compare Democrats to Hitler.
Miller’s husband was also in attendance at a “Save America Rally” moments before a riotous mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. In a video posted to his public Facebook page, Miller railed against “dangerous Democrat terrorists,” and said “we’re in a great cultural war to see which worldview will survive.”
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin addressed Miller’s “comments and rhetoric,” a spokeswoman said. She wouldn’t elaborate further, but said Durkin addressed the issue in a private conversation.
In a previous statement on Wednesday, Durkin condemned the riot and Congresswoman Miller’s comment.
“The events unfolding at the United States Capitol today, and the inflammatory remarks by members of the Republican Party, are a disgrace to the core values and beliefs of our great nation,” Durkin said. “These actions do not represent our Republican party, and are against everything we stand for as Americans. I am sickened and deeply saddened by what I have witnessed today. Any public officials who condone these actions have no place in the Republican party or in our democracy.”