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‘It’s sick’: top Florida Democrat likens Gov. DeSantis to Hitler

The comparison was met with criticism from media and the governors office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis | By Hunter Crenian

January 17, 2022 10:06pm

Updated: January 22, 2022 10:16pm

A top Florida Democrat compared state governor Ron DeSantis to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during a radio interview Friday.

Nikki Fried, the Florida commissioner of agriculture and a Democratic candidate for governor, was asked to explain her past comments comparing DeSantis to an “authoritarian dictator” on a weekly podcast produced by Jacksonville public radio station WJCT.

"I have studied Hitler and how he got to power, you know, wanting his own militia," Fried told co-host Melissa Ross, referring to the governor’s proposal to revive the Florida State Guard.

DeSantis floated the idea last year of reviving the World War II-era civilian military force, which would support the National Guard but “not be encumbered by the federal government,” a jab directed at the National Guard’s vaccine mandate.

Ross pushed back, pointing out there were other states with state militias. Florida would be the 23rd state with a state guard recognized by the federal government, according to the governor’s office.

Fried responded that DeSantis was different, saying “This governor is doing it for the sole purposes of power and doing so to make fear and to instill that, to blame people for what is happening in their lives, blaming certain parts of our society and culture, and that's exactly what Hitler did to the Jews back during World War II."

The comparison was met with criticism from media and the governors office.

“If we had an honest media instead of DNC stenographers, reporters would be criticizing Nikki Fried's dishonest and offensive claim that Gov. DeSantis is the modern Hitler. Such a comparison trivializes Hitler’s crimes against humanity. This is not funny, it’s sick,” tweeted Christina Pushaw, spokeswoman for DeSantis’s office. 

Fried fares poorly in a head-to-head with DeSantis, trailing by 10 points according to RealClearPolitics. Among her challengers in the August Democratic primary is Florida Congressman Charlie Crist.