Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray has twice been called to task for using his Democratic campaign for Ohio governor to describe members of the Republican Party as Nazis. However, the former federal regulator refused to apologize for his comments.
According to a Columbus Dispatch report, Cordray refused to formally apologize last week after a video surfaced from a March event where Cordray compared Ohio Republicans to the Nazi collaborators of Vichy France. Cordray blamed an unidentified person for making the remark, adding, “I repeated a comment that somebody else had made to me, and I now regret that I did that because it was not particularly well thought-out in the first place. My point was that people ought to be willing to speak up for what’s right in the state, regardless of party.”
He also stated, “there’s no real comparison” between local Republicans and Nazis.
Another Cordray video surfaced from a June 15 event that brought up more Nazi analogies.
“I will say, that as I said, the tone that you set in government and leadership matters. I mean, right now we have a tone being set by the White House, which is absolutely against everything I’ve understood for America,” Cordray said. “You know, trying to find people to scapegoat and blame? That’s like Nazi Germany. I mean, I don’t want to make too strong a point about it, and I don’t want to compare it to the Holocaust, but it is trying to find people that we can knock down and drag down and blame and say, ‘it’s their fault, not our fault.’ That never builds people up, to knock somebody else down. When our kids do it on the playground, we tell them, ‘stop that.’”
Cordray’s campaign initially refused to clarify the candidate’s comments, only to issue a statement that blamed Republicans for creating a controversy.
“Rich was criticizing the tone in Washington and the White House of placing blame on other people, and he specifically said that he was not making a comparison to the Holocaust,” said the campaign statement. “The Ohio Republican Party trying to twist his words and sow division is exactly what Rich wants to end so that Democrats and Republicans can work together for the people of Ohio.”