Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his biggest goal was to help his party shed its “scary” image.
“I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center governing majority,” he said in an interview shortly before Christmas.
Enter Texas Congressman Randy Weber, a Republican, who just apologized for comparing President Barack Obama to Hitler on Monday.
“Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris,” Weber wrote in a tweet, referring to the president’s absence from Paris at a major anti-terrorism march this weekend.
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He added: “(For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for the right reasons.”
Weber was referring to Germany’s occupation of Paris in 1940.
On Tuesday, Weber was back with an apology.
“I need to first apologize to all those offended by my tweet,” Weber said in a statement. “It was not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the President to Adolf Hitler.”
But the damage was done.
It’s comments like Weber’s that threaten to restrain a party determined to win back the White House in 2016. Witness the 2014 election cycle when a well-disciplined GOP engaged in primaries in a bid to avoid another Senate candidacy like Todd Akin’s in 2012. The Missourian became the subject of enduring headlines that year over his comments about “legitimate rape.”
The GOP doesn’t want to go there again.
Then along came Mr. Weber. The party can’t afford many more.