Illinois congresswoman quotes Hitler to crowd outside U.S. Capitol
A newly minted Illinois congresswoman with suburban roots quoted Adolf Hitler during prepared remarks Tuesday to supporters of President Donald Trump on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Reading from a folded sheet of paper on stage at an event hosted by a group called "Moms for America," Republican Mary Miller told the audience that the real "battle" was for the "hearts and minds of our children" before invoking the infamous Nazi leader's words from his autobiography, "Mein Kampf."
"Hitler was right on one thing; he said, 'Whoever has the youth has the future,'" Miller told the crowd on hand for a rally ahead of Wednesday's planned protest that eventually turned violent.
The comments didn't become widely publicized until Wednesday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish, specifically called out the remarks during his media briefing Wednesday.
"Let me be clear: Hitler got nothing right," Pritzker said. "This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics. Illinois Republicans cannot allow this to stand and must condemn this vile, evil streak in their party. If Rep. Miller was the least bit interested in history, she should visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center to learn just how wrong Hitler really was."
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston called for Miller's resignation, telling the Sun-Times, "She definitely should be condemned."
Miller, of Oakland, is a Naperville native. Many Illinois Republican leaders condemned Miller's speech.
"These nonsense comments are some of the most ridiculous I've ever heard from an elected official. Hitler was the epitome of evil. Period," said Hawthorn Woods Republican state Sen. Dan McConchie, who is the senate GOP leader-designate.
Miller's fellow Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger of Channahon, said on Twitter, "I outright condemn this garbage."
Democratic congressman Brad Schneider of Deerfield, who is Jewish, called on his new colleague to apologize. Miller was sworn in just days ago.
"No leader, and especially a member of Congress, must ever invoke Hitler as a model of anything other than pure evil," Schneider said. "Rep. Mary Miller must apologize to her constituents and all who honor the memory of the millions murdered by Hitler and the Nazis."
Miller, who represents the state's 15th congressional district, did not apologize. A post from her Twitter account at 4:18 p.m. Wednesday said: "Congresswoman Miller's statement was a denunciation of evil dictators' efforts to re-educate young people and similar efforts by left-wing radicals in our country today."
In a video of Miller's speech, Miller tells the crowd that congressional Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley "don't represent us or the millions of women across America that hold that faith, family and freedom is what's made our country great."
She goes on to set up the Hitler quote by saying, "Each generation has the responsibility to teach the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections, we're still going to be losing, unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle."
A political newcomer, Miller portrayed herself as a grandmother and farmer during her 2020 campaign to replace retiring Republican congressman John Shimkus. She has been an outspoken supporter of the president and was one of dozens of Republican House members who vowed to vote against certification of the presidential election results.