So much for starting with a fresh slate. Barely a week into the new Congress and a Republican lawmaker has compared President Obama to German dictator Adolf Hitler.
In a tweet slamming the president for not attending the peace demonstration in Paris that following the terrorist attack there, Texas Rep. Randy Weber said: "Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for right reasons."
Weber represents Texas's 14th Congressional District, the same seat formerly held by Rep. Ron Paul. In his brief stint in Congress, Weber has made headlines for other controversial statements and creative spelling displays. In January 2014, Weber called Obama "the Socialistic dictator" and the "Kommandant-In-Chef." He most recently made news for being one of the 25 Republicans to vote against House Speaker John Boehner's re-election.
Tuesday afternoon, Weber issued a statement apologizing "to all those offended by my tweet." He said it was "not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the President to Adolf Hitler...I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate." That, of course, doesn't mean Weber is lightening up on Obama. "The President's actions or lack thereof is my point of contention. Islamic extremists have shown they are not going away, and instead are hungry for more blood," he said in the statement.
While Weber's statement Monday against Obama was the most extreme, Republicans across Capitol HIll criticized the White House and its decision not to send the president to France to march alongside 3.7 million people as well as dozens of world leaders. Some of America's closest allies including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were all in attendance.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took his own swipe at the president Monday and penned an editorial in Time titled "Our President Should Have Been There."
"The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous," Cruz wrote.
Obama's absence from the March was also the subject of a tense press briefing Monday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House should have sent someone notable in his place. "I think it's fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile," Earnest said.
This post has been updated to reflect the Tuesday statement from Weber.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.
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