Tags: Podesta | Jonestown | GOP | apology

Podesta Apologizes for Likening GOP to Jonestown

By Lisa Barron   |  

John Podesta, who has just joined the Obama administration as a special adviser, is already trying to take his foot out of his mouth.

In a profile of Podesta published Tuesday in Politico Magazine,  the former White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton, compared Republicans to the cult led by Jim Jones in Guyana.

Speaking about what administration officials should do, Podesta said, "They need to focus on executive action given that they are a facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress."

Jonestown was the informal name for the community formed by Jones and  more than 900  followers in 1978. It became synonymous with the mass cyanide poisoning at the settlement that was one of the worst mass killings of Americans in history.

Podesta apologized for the remark on his Twitter account Wednesday.

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Glenn Thrush, author of the profile, wrote that Podesta made the remark in an interview before he was recruited to join the White House team.

Several Republican's took offense to Podesta's choice of words after the profile came out, reports USA Today.

"If this is the attitude of the new White House, it's hard to see how the president gets anything done again," Brendan Buck a spokeswoman for House Speaker John Boehner, said.

Jenny Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, went one step further, saying, "Any man who is so historically ignorant as to compare millions of Americans who cherish freedom with the macabre and mass suicide at Jonestown is unqualified to hold any position of authority."

"We recommend Mr. Podesta read a book on basic American history," she added.

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