Rep. Peter King Denounces Gingrich's "Nazi" Comparison: "It Was Wrong"

August 18, 2010 12:45 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Earlier this week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compared the organizers of Park 51, the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero, to Nazis.  "They're trying to make a case about supremacy," Gingrich claimed, adding, "You know, Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington." 

But Gingrich's outlandish comparison went too far for some conservatives, including Joe Scarborough and even Pat Buchanan.  Today on Fox News, Rep. Pete King (R- NY) — who opposes Park 51 and is generally not hesitant about expressing anti-Muslim views — joined them in directly rebuking the former speaker.  "I think it was wrong for Newt Gingrich to use the term 'Nazi' in talking about this mosque," he said. 

KING: I would caution everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to be very careful, very sensitive in how you address this.  For instance, I think it was wrong for Newt Gingrich to use the term "Nazi" in talking about this mosque, making a Nazi comparison.  This is too sensitive an issue and everyone should realize when they speak that their words are being listened to by the families of those who were killed on September 11.  So it's a legitimate issue if it's used in a very measured way....


Unfortunately, however, King has not lived up to his own standard.  For example, King and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued a joint statement last week calling Feisal Abdul Rauf, the lead organizer of Park 51, a "radical" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Previously, he claimed that Rauf only "poses as a moderate." In 2007, King told a reporter that there are "too many mosques in this country."