The Republican candidate for governor of California paid a visit to a DMV on Wednesday and casually compared standing in line at the notoriously sedate agency to the plight of a Holocaust survivor in pre-war Germany, Capital Public Radio reported.
The campaign for the Republican candidate and businessman John Cox later clarified to TPM that Cox — who has been visiting DMV’s to point out the failings of the agency — misspoke. In audio of the event recorded by Capital Public Radio, Cox introduces himself to a woman and asks her how long she’s been waiting in line. The woman says she’s been in line “close to an hour,” provoking Cox to launch into a diatribe recounting a conversation he’d had previously with a Holocaust survivor.
“You know, I met a Holocaust survivor in Long Beach. He survived concentration camps, and he said this was worse. He’s 90 years old and he had to wait four hours down in Long Beach. Can you imagine that?” Cox says, according to the Capital Public Radio audio.
His campaign spokesperson told the local radio station that Cox misspoke when he called the lines “worse” than the Holocaust. They also gave Capital Public Radio an audio recording of Cox sharing the same story, but accurately, earlier this week.
“He was saying that it reminded him of pre-war Germany” when Jewish people waited in lines to be processed, Cox spokesperson Matt Shupe told the radio station. “In no way does he mean this as a slight to the Jewish community. He misspoke. It’s very unfortunate. But it’s nothing more than that.”
Shupe did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment about whether Cox will discontinue his use of the Holocaust survivor’s story to illustrate the long lines at the DMV.