House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) spoke out of both sides of his mouth Sunday as he defended comparing a Republican-controlled Congress to the rise of Nazism while outright denying a statement he made days earlier after the video was played.
(Video: Fox News)
President Joe Biden’s divisive speeches have led the charge for the Democratic caucus to campaign on conservatives being a “threat to democracy.” In the days leading up to the midterm, Clyburn ramped up that rhetoric leaning entirely into taboo comparisons to Adolf Hitler.
“I’ve studied history all of my life. I taught history. And I’m telling you, what I see here are parallels to what the history was in this world back in the 1930s in Germany,” the congressman told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream.
That statement followed Bream replaying a clip from an interview conducted Thursday with Fox News Digital where Clyburn had said, “This country is on track to repeat what happened in Germany when it was the greatest democracy going, elected a chancellor who then co-opted the media,” before later saying, “This past president (former President Donald Trump) called the press the enemy of the people. That is a bunch of crap. And we know it. And that’s what’s going on in this country.”
Seeking clarity on his charged remarks, Bream pressed the lawmaker and asked, “Are voters though, listening to this message, to infer from what you’re saying that if they don’t vote for Democrats in this election that they are somehow supporting something akin to the rise of Hitler?”
In a non-answer, Clyburn replied, “No, if they don’t vote against election deniers, if they don’t vote against liars–people who lie, know full well they’re lying–we all know they’re lying. This was the cleanest election in the history of the country and Donald Trump’s own appointee said it was the cleanest in the history of the country. So if they’re lying, they’re denying, they’re trying to delete, they’re trying to nullify votes, vote against that foolishness.”
Of course, the congressman’s claims were difficult to take earnestly when moments later he denied his own words after Bream played a clip of him speaking Tuesday. “But losing this democracy could very well be the end of the world.”
“Nobody said the world has ended,” Clyburn said flatly to the host who challenged, “You did say there though that it could be the end of the world.”
“No. Democracy will be ended. The world will continue to exist,” he tried. “The world was here before Hitler. The world was here after Hitler. That’s what we’re saying. No, the world will not end. The kind of world we have, the kind of country we have–we’ve got to decide how we want to exist in this world, and that’s what we’re talking about. This hyperbole is not part of what we’re saying here.”
Unwilling to let him slide, Bream tried once more and said, “Just to be clear though I’m gonna read your quote. It said, ‘But losing this democracy could very well be the end of the world.’ That’s a direct quote from you.”
“End of the world!?! Come on!” he exclaimed as though he had been confronted with a deep fake. “If that’s a quote from me, I misspoke.”
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