As we noted earlier, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole was reported to have compared voting against President <$NoAd$>Bush this November with supporting Hitler during World War II. An Oklahoma news radio station also quoted him as saying that a Bush loss would be a bin Laden win.
We called the congressman’s office this morning for comment and confirmation. And now they’ve sent us this press release responding to the published accounts.
We’re publishing the press release in full …
Congressman Cole Corrects Inaccurate Portrayal of Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “The Yukon Review mischaracterized my remarks in the opening lead of their story published yesterday. However, they did accurately quote parts of my speech during the Canadian County Republican Convention held last Saturday.”
“I do believe that if President Bush is not re-elected, the United States’ enemies around the world will take comfort and strength in the fact that such a strong war time leader would be out of office. I never said and do not believe that a vote against President Bush is equivalent to a vote for Adolf Hitler. The patriotism of candidates and voters who oppose the President is not in question,” Congressman Cole said.
During the Canadian County Convention, Congressman Cole did say the following:
“I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it’s that simple. It will be interpreted that way by enemies of the United States around the world.”
“What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would’ve lost the election in 1944? He would have thought American resolve was [weakening].”
“What would the confederacy have thought if Lincoln would have lost the election of 186?”
“I stand by these statements and do believe that this November is again another important time in history, just like Lincoln’s victory in 1864 and Roosevelt’s victory in 1944. President Bush has proved that he will stand up to our enemies and I believe that is his most important job as Commander in Chief,” Congressman Cole said.
Frankly, I think these comments are still pretty outrageous, even in Cole’s version of them. But they’re not quite as bad as the original reports. And we wanted to bring you Congressman Cole’s response in full.