Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) presidential campaign on Tuesday released a web ad that links Donald Trump to Nazi Germany.
The 60-second spot, titled “Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric,” features retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, speaking at an event before Trump’s campaign stop Monday evening in Columbus. Moe paraphrases Protestant pastor Martin Niemller, who spoke out publicly against the Nazi regime and spent years in Nazi concentration camps, as images of Trump’s controversial rhetoric flash on screen.
“You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with the government, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it’s OK to rough up black protesters, because you’re not one,” Moe says in the video.
“And you might not care that Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one. But think about this. If he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you, and you better hope that’s there someone left to help you,” he adds.
The construction is similar to Niemller’s well-known quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for meand there was no one left to speak for me.
The Kasich campaign last week shifted its attention squarely to Trump, arguing the real estate mogul is unfit for the White House. But the video is the darkest hit yet against the longtime front-runner by a fellow Republican candidate for president.
Before the video was posted on YouTube, Trump tweaked Kasich via his favorite social media:
And in his speech in Columbus, Kasich’s backyard, Trump again took a shot at the popular Ohio governor by noting his low position in the presidential primary polls.
Your governor is only 2 [percent],” Trump said. “What happened?
The Kasich campaign isn’t the only one making the controversial comparison. Conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace, who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for the GOP nomination, over the weekend said it is “creeping fascism” to advocate for a federal database based on religion — as Trump has suggested doing for Muslim Americans in the wake of the deadly Paris terrorist attacks.