ILLINOIS (NEXSTAR) —After initially doubling down and defending her prepared remarks earlier this week that Adolf Hitler was “right on one thing,” Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller has now issued an apology.
“I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth,” Miller’s Friday morning statement read in part. “This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds.”
Miller faced widespread, bipartisan backlash after a video emerged earlier this week of her speaking at a Save America Rally, put on by Moms for America in which she said, “This is the battle: Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”
Calls to apologize or resign came quickly from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Rep. Rodney Davis, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Legislative Jewish Caucus and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, among others.
But instead of choosing to apologize quickly, Miller took to Twitter to double-down on the statement, saying her praise of Hitler’s plan to indoctrinate youth to create a lasing political legacy was actually “a denunciation of evil dictators’ efforts to re-educate young people and similar efforts by left-wing radicals in our country today.”
Davis said that he spoke to Miller about her comment on the House floor on Wednesday, encouraging her to think about the impact of her words as an elected leader.
“As a newly elected member of Congress, Congresswoman Miller must understand that words matter and they have consequences,” he said in a statement. “I know yesterday was a difficult time for the country, and Mary and I happened to be evacuated off the House floor together and placed for hours in a safe location. Because of these circumstances, I fully expect Congresswoman Miller to offer an apology and a retraction of her comments soon.”
While Miller did issue an apology Friday, she included in her statement that “some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs: let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community.”
Miller added in closing that she has “been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness.”