Carl P. Paladino, a Republican running for a House seat in Western New York, praised Adolf Hitler last year for inspiring his followers, describing the fascist dictator as “the kind of leader we need today.”
Mr. Paladino did not specifically condone Hitler’s actions in his remarks, which he made in a 2021 radio interview that was unearthed on Thursday. But he said he was impressed by how the German leader and head of the Nazi Party “aroused the crowd” in his speeches and suggested that Republicans in New York and Washington ought to emulate his approach.
“He would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just, they were hypnotized by him,” he said in the interview, resurfaced by the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters. “I guess, I guess that’s the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer.”
“Our Republicans are sound asleep,” he added, referring to party officials as captive to “RINOism,” a derogatory acronym meaning Republicans in name only.
The remarks, for which he apologized on Thursday, were striking even by the incendiary standards of Mr. Paladino, who has previously said that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that being gay was acceptable and suggested that Michelle Obama, the former first lady, should be “let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe.”