The Anti-Defamation League of Florida issued a strong statement Sunday rebuking Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for comparing Gov. Ron DeSantis to Adolf Hitler.
Fried made the comments during a radio interview last week. The ADL responded to the remarks in a quote tweet Sunday.
“While public officials may have disagreements over policies, comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazism are inappropriate, offensive, and trivialize this unique tragedy in human history,” read the statement, written atop an article covering the controversy.
Fried’s comments, made on Florida NPR stations Friday, have become global news since.
“Instead of listening and trying to govern with the people, he’s trying to govern over the people. And that, I’m sorry, I’m a student of history too. I saw the rise of Hitler. I learned those stories,” Fried said.
When asked if she was comparing DeSantis to Hitler, Fried stood her ground.
“In a lot of ways, yes,” Fried told interviewer Melissa Ross. “I have studied Hitler and how he got to power. Wanting his own militia. Having his own army.”
“Do I think that we’re going to get to the extent of Hitler’s power? Of course not. But the rise of his power and what he did to scapegoat certain parts, especially the Jewish community in Germany, and how he utilized going after the media, going after and scapegoating people and blaming people and putting fear and taking over the military, that’s what this Governor is doing,” Fried added.
The ADL comments continue a stream of condemnation, particularly from those in the Governor’s inner circle.
“Just this weekend, Florida Democrats compared Gov. DeSantis to Hitler. This comparison is repulsive, offensive, and minimizes Hitler’s evil crimes against humanity,” First Lady Casey DeSantis wrote in an email to supporters Monday.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez on Sunday called the comparison “despicable” and said “if it wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable.”
“I don’t know what reference she’s referring to as it relates to Hitler, but it is a despicable reference, and it is sad,” Nuñez said. “Nikki, shame on you.”
A similar condemnation of Fried’s comments also come from the leadership of the Zionist Organization of America.