Norm Coleman blasts Cali Democrat John Burton after he compares Paul Ryan to Goebbels

burton norm coleman.jpg
After Burton (left) compared Ryan to Goebbels, the Romney ticket turned to Coleman for a response.
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Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman spoke on behalf of aggrieved Republicans everywhere after John Burton, chair of the California Democratic Party, compared Paul Ryan's RNC lying to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

"They lie and they don't care if people think they lie... Joseph Goebbels -- it's the big lie, you keep repeating it," Burton told the SFGate during a DNC breakfast event yesterday.

Burton specifically referenced a part of Ryan's RNC speech where he suggested President Obama was responsible for the shutdown of General Motors' Janesville plant, despite the fact the plant actually closed in December 2008, a month before Obama even took office.

From the Huffington Post:
[Ryan said] "Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, 'I believe that if our government is there to support you... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year."
Characterizing Ryan as a "horse's ass," Burton called that claim a "bold-faced lie," adding that the VP nominee "doesn't care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie."

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt quickly told reporters that Burton's comments don't "reflect the views of the campaign," but that didn't stop Norm, who has been working as a "special adviser" for Romney's campaign for nearly a year, from issuing a statement connecting the Goebbels comparison with Obama's alleged pledge to elevate political rhetoric (Google searches yielded no proof Obama ever made such a promise).

"President Obama promised to lift up American politics," Coleman said. "Unfortunately, some of his supporters, by employing rhetoric that has no place in our political system, are bringing it down to the gutter. The comments by California Democratic Chair John Burton likening the Republican Party to Nazis and Joseph Goebbels are just such an instance."

Burton has since issued a measured apology.

"If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie -- I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment," Burton said, adding that he never explicitly compared Republicans writ large to Nazis.

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MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Norm Coleman can go fuck himself.  If he told Paul Ryan to stop lying I might care some Democrat I've never heard of made a true and accurate comparasion to a historical figure.   Mitt Romney and the Republicans had 7 birthers speak at the RNC.  That means this isn't news.  Rupar you should be embarrassed you covered this.   Why don't you cover an actual news story instead of this stupid Repubilican nonsense you love to cover.  Who the fuck is John Burton?   I've never heard of him in my entire life. 

Randall Douglas
Randall Douglas

(I should note that, generally, Coleman has lost some of my early respect for his Ryan-like characteristics...perhaps even more, in Norm's case, so for promising one thing then switching back or forth when the heat is on; I once hoped he'd be a moderate and unifier with his Dem past and some reasonable environmental postions, such as anknowledging the problem of global warming and middling views that ANWR drilling wasn't worth the downside.)

Randall Douglas
Randall Douglas

As much as I hate to, I've got to go with Coleman for calling him out on the comparison. Ryan has made a couple bold faced lies, to be sure, but we tend to drop Nazi names when things get a little out of hand with lying, mischaracterizations, and propoganda, where perhaps other comparisons are more apt and less wedge driving.

swmnguy topcommenter

Okay, the Goebbels reference crossed the line of Godwin's Law; whoever mentions the Nazis first loses.  But won't any Republican try to defend the lies that keep pouring out of Ryan's mouth?  It's pretty telling that they won't even try to justify it; merely adding their own lies and amplifying them.  There could be a mighty debate this year, if the Republicans hadn't maneuvered their way into such ridiculous and fraudulent positions to begin with.  Obama is vulnerable.  But for Republicans to counter with "The Sky Is Green!  The Earth is Flat!" makes a mockery of the whole thing.


Republicans have found that they can tell the most outrageous, vilifying, incredulous lie in the world if they just tell it good enough, and often enough, and keep repeating it long enough; they know that eventually the public will believe it. Only a Republican can tell lies like that and still innocently look you in the eye. They have no shame, their skin is as thick as concrete.  


Norm who now?


 @Dave2 Just like when Obama kept on promising America "Hope and Change" 4 years ago?  America bought it.  Hook. Line. And Sinker.


 @_Joe_ Norm, the guy who ran St Paul, had the model wife in Cali while putting up a girlfriend in a Grand Ave Apartment and getting free suits.

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