Steve Cohen apologizes (for real, kind of)


This is the real deal, or closer to it, in an appearance by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) on Ed Schultz’s show on MSNBC.

He still doesn’t altogether get why he was blasted — and admits to it — but he swears never to use Holocaust imagery again. 

When Schultz asks him flat out if he’s sorry for making the connection between Republican health care arguments and Goebbels and the blood libel Cohen says:

I definitely am, and I’m sorry that any Jewish people and my Republican colleagues or anybody got the wrong impression.

And then:

I hate if I participated in anything that made my Congress, which I’m greatly honored to be a member of, or my district which I love any problems.

He says he’s learned his lesson and will "never do it again". He also said he apologized to the Anti-Defamation League.

He gets in a passive agressive swipe at Mike Pence right at the end though.

Watch it:

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Rabbi David Saperstein, of Reform’s Religious Action Center, also weighed in yesterday on the rhetoric:

In the last several days, troubling rhetoric has been used by both Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee. Gov. Bentley and Rep. Cohen’s comments, though different in context and word, erode the atmosphere of civility and open-mindedness that is indispensable to the health of our democracy.

Both Rep. Cohen’s comparison of some arguments in opposition to the new health reform law to the Nazi propaganda machine under Joseph Goebbels and Gov. Bentley’s suggestion that only Christians are his brothers and sisters in the context of his swearing in day were ill conceived and divisive. Both have expressed their apologies to anyone who was offended and we commend them for their apologies and we welcome those sentiments. At the same time, we hope both Rep. Cohen and Gov. Bentley will use these unfortunate episodes as an educational opportunity and share with colleagues why this rhetoric that divides people along religious lines and rhetoric that suggests comparisons between Nazi atrocities and public policy debates are counterproductive.

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