Billboard linking Obama to Hitler papered over

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A billboard in Iowa linking President Obama to Hitler and Lenin was papered over.

The billboard, which was put up last week in downtown Mason City by the North Iowa Tea Party, had drawn a great deal of criticism — including from other Tea Party members. The papering-over finished Wednesday after starting the day before.

The Des Moines Register reported that the North Iowa Tea Party asked for the billboard to be removed.

Large photos of Obama, Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin each had been stamped with the word “Change.” Hitler’s photo was topped by the phrase “National Socialism,” Obama’s with “Democrat Socialism” and Lenin’s with “Marxist Socialism.” A banner reading “Radical Leaders Prey on the Fearful and Naive” stretched across the bottom.

Bob Johnson, co-founder of the 200-member North Iowa Tea Party, told Haaretz that the billboard was supposed to draw attention to socialism. He acknowledged that the message may have been overshadowed by the photos.

Shelby Blakely, leader of the national Tea Party Patriots group, said the billboard was “a waste of time, money and resources, and it’s not going to further our case.” She went on to condemn the link between Obama and Hitler.

"When you compare Obama to Hitler, that to me does a disservice to the Jews who both survived and died in the Holocaust, and to the Germans who lived under Nazi regime rule," Blakely told Haaretz.

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