Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland apologized Thursday after video emerged of him comparing student loans to the extermination of Jews in German concentration camps.
“While explaining my position on an important Constitutional issue I regrettably used an extreme example as a comparison that was ill-advised and inappropriate,” he said in a statement. “I should never use something as horrific as the Holocaust to make a political point, and I deeply apologize to anyone I may have offended.”
At a recent town hall event, Bartlett claimed the federal government did not have the power to provide student loans under the U.S. Constitution. The conservative congressman insisted he was not against higher education, but said it was something that only local and state governments should be involved in.
“Let me tell you why,” Bartlett explained. “Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans. It certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could.
“There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”
Video of Bartlett’s comments were captured by Democratic trackers and provided to media outlets.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by MD06RawFootage on September 6, below: