Home Depot founder and billionaire GOP donor Ken Langone is back in the news for invoking the Nazis again, another stilted analogy relating the plight of the current American rich to 1930s Germany.
Back in March, Langone lamented the rising political focus on income inequality and what he saw as the vilification of the top 1 percent. "I hope it’s not working," he told Politico. "Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy." After an uproar, he apologized for his remarks the next day.
But today he took back that apology and tried to clarify his original, flawed point. "[Hitler] came to power through a totally democratic process. So I simply said that just because we’re a democracy that doesn’t mean we can’t do bad things!" Langone told Capital New York. "I simply said just because we’re a democracy doesn’t mean you can’t have bad results," he added. "That's all! I stand on what I said."
Langone continued, taking aim at Rob Astorino, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York who previously criticized Langone's Hitler comments. "Then Astorino said, Governor Cuomo should repudiate that statement from Ken Langone. What statement did I make? My statement was that a democratic process could have bad results. You want proof? Go back to 1933. It was horrible results! I was only saying that we are, thank God, a democracy, and when our leaders pit group against group, it’s not constructive."