A Tennessee state senator has likened Obamacare to the Holocaust, drawing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, and he continues to stand by the comments.
Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield made the comparison on his blog Monday, titled "Thought of the Day."
"Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign-ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory [sic] sign-ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the '40s," Campfield wrote.
The comment drew sharp criticism from both Republican and Democrat party leaders in the Volunteer State.
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney called on Campfield to apologize to the Jewish community for the comment, saying it was "ignorant and repugnant."
Roy Herron, the state's Democratic Party chairman, said the comparison was "outrageous, pathetic, and hateful."
Campfield said that he regretted "that some people miss the point of my post."
"It was not to offend. It was to warn," he said in a follow-up comment to the post. "To draw attention to Obamacare and the slippery slope that I see occurring in the lives of myself, my constituents, and the rest of the country with the continued taking of freedom by the federal government.
"In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering, and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history," he added.
The Anti-Defamation League has called on Campfield to apologize.
"The 6 million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve better," Shelley Rose, associate director of the ADL's Southeast office, wrote in a letter to Campfield. "Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering."
However, Campfield told The Associated Press, "Jewish people should be the first to stand up against Obamacare."
"When you have government deciding who gets health insurance and who doesn't, what services they get, and what services they have to provide, they're really deciding who lives and who dies," he added. "It's a slippery slope."
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