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Pa. Rep. Perry faces heat for comparing Dems to Nazis during speech | Tuesday Morning Coffee

June 29, 2021 7:12 am

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, addresses the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, a gathering of conservative activists, on 6/11/21 (screen capture)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

A Republican congressman from central Pennsylvania is facing mounting backlash over remarks he made during a speech to conservative activists where he compared Democrats to Nazis, and urged his audience to “go fight them.”

“Our country and our constitution is under attack,” U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, a member of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus told an audience at the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference earlier this month.

“It’s not the loyal opposition, it’s just the opposition,” Perry said, referring to congressional Democrats. “They want to destroy the country that you grew up in. They want to destroy the country the Founders made. You know in your heart that’s the answer.”

Countering imaginary critics countering that not all Democrats shared such goals, Perry drew an analogy to Nazi Germany, in which all Germans may not have belonged to the Nazi Party, but “what happened across Germany? That’s what’s important. What were the policies? What was the leadership? That’s what we have to focus on.”

Schumer is seen at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 28, 2021 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite).

Later in the speech, Perry, in an awkward analogy, appeared to compare woke companies to the spread of fascism in Germany.

“It wasn’t the government in Germany that took people’s rights away immediately, it was fascism,” Perry said. “Fascism took it away because the government put its heavy hand on the companies and the companies did the government’s work.”

“… we support big business, but not if it’s anti-America,” Perry continued, “not if it’s anti-American. And we shouldn’t be afraid to say it.”

Perry’s remarks netted him a rebuke from the Cumberland County Democratic Committee, the large suburban Harrisburg county that anchors Perry’s swing district.

“As an elected official, Scott Perry is tasked with representing ALL 257,848 Cumberland County residents and not just those registered voters who cast a ballot for him on November 3, 2020. Instead of showing leadership to unite neighbors, Perry’s divisive rhetoric deepens the partisan divide amongst his constituency,” the county party said in a statement it released Monday.

(YouTube screen capture)

While Perry condemned Democrats and the people whom he said ran rampant in American cities during last summer’s civil rights protests, his own role in the events that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are well-documented.

Perry, a former Pennsylvania state representative and veteran, objected to the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.

Perry also was one of eight GOP members of Congress who joined in a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court that, if successful, would have set aside the 2.5 million ballots that Pennsylvania voters cast in last November’s general election.

The central Pennsylvania lawmaker also joined a groundless lawsuit, filed by Texas’ attorney general, seeking to invalidate the election results in four battleground states, including Pennsylvania.

During a May interview on C-Span, where he defended his vote against a bipartisan commission to study the causes of the insurrection, Perry downplayed the seriousness of the violence, telling a caller that “there was no arms that came in as far as I know, other than the people who were armed at the Capitol as security. No arms came into the Capitol with the people that did walk in,” WESA-FM in Pittsburgh reported.

Earlier this month, Perry was one of 21 Republicans who voted against awarding one of the country’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol — from the pro-Trump extremists who sacked the building more than six months ago.

“This is part of a pattern — every time the leading Republican candidates for statewide office get together, someone makes a comparison to Nazi Germany, and it’s their responsibility to speak out and denounce these statements,” Brendan Welch, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party said in a statement last week after Perry’s remarks were brought to light in a story by Vice.com.

“Until they do, the Republican candidates for governor and Senate will share responsibility for the rise in hatred and division throughout our Commonwealth,” Welch continued.

A spokesperson for Perry did not respond to an emailed request for comment for this story.

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.

Tax hikes are off the table to pay for the bipartisan infrastructure deal, U.S. Sen Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said during a Monday speech to the Pennsylvania Press Club, I report.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who suffered a stroke earlier this month, has been released from a Washington D.C. hospital, and was immediately transferred to a rehabilitation facility, his family announced Monday morning. Marley Parish has the details.

With thousands eligible, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney and School Superintendent William Hite are urging city parents to claim the federal child tax credit, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

On our Commentary Page this morning, a University of Missouri-St. Louis expert explains why the closures of Black K-12 schools across the nation threatens neighborhood stability.

(Photo via Getty Images/Colorado Newsline.)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia City Council has voted to approve funding for affordable housing amid a construction boom, the Inquirer reports.

A new lawsuit accuses Allegheny County of manipulating property-sales data for its own benefit during assessment appeals, the Post-Gazette reports.

Pennsylvania has lifted its mask mandate, but PennLive runs down the places where you may still have to wear one.

A campus statute of U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall, the namesake of Franklin & Marshall Collegehas been vandalizedLancasterOnline reports.

Aid for schools and the scrapping of an overtime rule were a key trade in the deal that led to last week’s approval of the state budget, the Associated Press reports (via the York Dispatch).

On a sweltering day, thousands of people on Wilkes-Barre’s West Side lost their electricity — and their air conditioning — on Monday, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Elected officials and clergy are applauding the funding of new anti-violence programs in Philadelphia, WHYY-FM reports.

WITF-FM also has its own look behind the scenes at this year’s state budget debate.

A Pennsylvania woman has been accused of encouraging and filming an attack on a journalist during the Capitol riot, WUSA-TV in Washington D.C. reports.

Yep — they went there. Some people are faking their COVID vaccine cardsStateline.org reports.

A newly introduced U.S. House resolution outlines the shape and powers of the select committee on the Capitol riot, Talking Points Memo reports.

Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
1 p.m, Capitol Steps: Rally for transit funding.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Tim Briggs
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Morgan Cephas
Hit both events, and give at the max, and you’re out $5,000 today.

WolfWatch
By the time some of you read this, Gov. Tom Wolf will have done an 8:07 a.m. interview with KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Have a birthday — yours, or someone else’s — you’d like observed in this space? Email me at [email protected].

Heavy Rotation
Here’s this year’s Euro 2020 theme song — from Bono The Edge of U2, with mix-master Martin Garrix, it’s ‘We are the People.

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Tampa drew first blood in their Stanley Cup final against Montreal on Monday night. The Bolts beat the Habs 5-1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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