Republican lawmakers this weekend blasted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for comparing the House mask mandate to the Holocaust.
The Republicans who criticized Greene were among those who either voted to impeach former President Donald Trump earlier this year or, in addition, voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., recently ousted from GOP leadership after she continued to refute Trump’s electoral falsehoods, lambasted Greene’s comparison as “evil lunacy” in a tweet.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and one of three Republican House members to vote both for Trump’s impeachment and to strip Greene of her committee assignments, tweeted that Greene’s remarks amount to “Absolute sickness.”
And on Sunday, Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Greene’s comments were “beyond reprehensible.”
“Any comparisons to the Holocaust, it’s beyond reprehensible,” he said. “This is, I don’t even have words to describe how disappointing it is to see this hyperbolic speech that frankly amps up and plays into a lot of the antisemitism that we’ve been seeing in our society today.”
The latest pushback to Greene is in response to comments she made during an appearance last week on “The Water Cooler with David Brody.” In that interview, Greene lamented to a nodding Brody about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to maintain a mask mandate on the House floor because of concerns many GOP members may not be vaccinated.
“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said of Pelosi, D-Calif. “You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
She was referencing the millions of Jews who were forced to wear a Star of David on their clothes, sent to concentration camps and murdered during World War II. A poll conducted this year showed an increase in antisemitism around the world as well as a lack of awareness among adults under 40 about the Holocaust, with 11 percent believing it was caused by Jewish people.
Last week, a CNN survey found that less than half of House Republicans would say they had been vaccinated, compared to 100 percent of House Democrats. Greene said recently that Pelosi “cannot force” her to be vaccinated.
Elsewhere, the American Jewish Congress called on Greene to apologize and retract her comments, saying “such comparisons demean the Holocaust & contaminate American political speech.” A Change.org petition to have House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., expel her from Congress has garnered more than 11,000 signatures as of Sunday morning.
Greene has come under repeated scrutiny for her past promotion of conspiracy theories like QAnon and for appearing to endorse violence against Pelosi before seeking office. Some of those posts led Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to condemn her for spreading “loony lies” and the Democratic-controlled House to remove her from committees in February in a vote backed by 11 Republicans.