South Carolina Democrats are calling foul after a recent fundraising email sent by the state Republican Party referred to the Internal Revenue Service as “Obama’s Gestapo.”
Tuesday’s email from SCGOP Chairman Matt Moore was a brief appeal to donors asking for help as the party works to “defund Obamacare, grow South Carolina’s economy, expose and abolish the IRS, and get answers on the cover-up in Benghazi.”
The email included an image of the IRS logo (complete with the eagle) and the words “OBAMA’S GESTAPO” written underneath in red.
The Gestapo were the name given to secret police which operated in Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II.
SC Democrats were upset at the characterization. “As the leader of her party, Governor (Nikki) Haley should condemn these hateful remarks,” SCDP Chairman Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “And as Chairman of the SCGOP, Matt Moore should apologize to the people of South Carolina and donate any money raised from this email to charity.”
Harrison went on to attack Haley, “It’s a disgusting display that proves Nikki Haley truly knows no bounds when it comes to hypocrisy and has no standards for decency and standing up for rights.” However, he did not explain why Haley should be blamed for the email, other than comparing it to an admitted white supremacist who had been on the governor’s re-election team at one point.
When asked by several different reporters to comment, SCGOP executive director Alex Stroman replied in a statement, “The State Party sent out a fundraising email earlier with a subject line meant to grab the attention of those receiving it. If anyone was upset, we certainly regret it. Our goal was to highlight the IRS’s questionable tactics and their decision to selectively scrutinize and target certain groups, including those in South Carolina.”
Nazi comparisons are hardly a new tactic in South Carolina. Last year, then-SC Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian compared Haley to Adolf Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun. In an interesting twist, Moore at the time called those comments “despicable.”
When Gov. Haley was asked about the new comments Tuesday, she said the email was “unfortunate and uncalled for,” according to The State newspaper. “There is no place in politics for any comments like that,” she said. “I didn’t think so when they were done to me, I don’t think so now.”