Republicans were outraged when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) compared migrant detention centers to “concentration camps” on Tuesday, and now the party’s congressional campaign committee is claiming that she and another Democrat are “minimizing” the Holocaust.
The National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a press release on Wednesday accusing Dr. Christine Eady Mann, a Texas Democrat running for Rep. John Carter’s (R-TX) seat, of downplaying the Holocaust when she tweeted her agreement with Ocasio-Cortez’ comment.
— Dr. Christine Eady Mann (@DrChristineMann) June 19, 2019
“Mann joins such disgraces as New York socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and MSNBC host Chris Hayes in their absurd and dangerous rhetoric that resulted in them being called out by the Auschwitz Museum,” the GOP campaign group blasted while linking to a Washington Examiner article.
The Examiner article inaccurately claims that the museum was correcting the congresswoman and Hayes because it asked them to follow their Twitter account (in fact, the museum regularly asks people to follow them).
“Texans know better than Washington politicians that our border policy is cruel and broken,” Mann said in an emailed statement to TPM. “I will never stop speaking out against the inhumane detention of children and family separation.”
“No degree of name-calling from Washington Republicans will ever get me to back down from standing up for what is right for my district, my state, and my country,” she continued.
The firestorm began when Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.”
This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.
This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ⬇️https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is Jewish, also backed up Ocasio-Cortez.
“One of the lessons from the Holocaust is ‘Never Again’ – not only to mass murder, but also to the dehumanization of people, violations of basic rights, and assaults on our common morality,” Nadler tweeted on Tuesday. “We fail to learn that lesson when we don’t callout such inhumanity right in front of us.”
Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her comments on Tuesday night and emphasized that she wasn’t referring to Nazi-era death camps.
“There is a very clear academic consensus on what constitutes a concentration camp, and that is the mass detention of a community of people without a trial or due process,” the Democratic congresswoman told CNN reporter Manu Raju. “I think it’s pretty universally noncontroversial to say that the administration is doing exactly that and meets the academic requirement for what a concentration camp is.”
“You’re not comparing this to what happened in World War II?” Raju asked.
“No, no,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “While concentration camps were employed during that time, concentration camps were also utilized all over the world, including in the United States with the Japanese internment.”
AOC stands by her description of migrant detention centers as concentration camps: "There is a very clear academic consensus on what constitutes a concentration camp, and that is the mass detention of a community of people without a trial or due process." pic.twitter.com/NPbVe78Zal
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 19, 2019
This story has been updated to include Mann’s response to the NRCC.