FORT WAYNE, Ind. - FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a Vanderburgh County native, sought to provide a history lesson at the state GOP convention, using the example of Nazi Germany as what can occur when a nation becomes saddled in debt.
Mourdock, who ran a failed campaign for U.S. Senate in 2012, is term limited from seeking re-election to the treasurer's office. Mourdock, in addressing the more than 1,650 convention delegates for the last time in the office, said he wanted to put on his treasurer’s hat for an important lesson, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.
Mourdock cautioned Indiana Republicans to beware politicians who promise entitlements and spending as debt grows. He said the Nazis made the same promises to a beleaguered German people before that country's 1936 elections.
“The people of Germany in a free election selected the Nazi Party because they made great promises that appealed to them because they were desperate and destitute,” Mourdock said.
He said afterward it wasn't meant as a direct comparison to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
Mourdock said the nation is in a “grave situation,” and Indiana with its ability to build surpluses should be seen as a national model.
“There is a battle ahead,” Mourdock said.
Mourdock said he wanted to leave convention attendees with the realization that citizenship is more than voting once a year or even serving as a delegate to the party convention. Mourdock said he used the example of Nazi Germany because it illustrates bankruptcy, which he said is what the nation faces today.
“It’s about talking to your neighbors, trying to influence people’s thinking,” Mourdock said. “Making them aware that democracy in a sense is always under threat especially with the financial situation being what it is.”
Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody quickly took to Twitter to decry Mourdock's comments.
And not everyone on the GOP side was happy either.
Mourdock likens my country to Nazi Germany. Not my country, Mr. Mourdock! So shameful the day after D-Day anniv. GO AWAY! #PartyInTheFort— Mike Murphy (@GOPMurphy) June 7, 2014
As an Indiana Republican, Mourdock does not & will never represent my views. There is a reason I voted for Donnelly, this just confirms it.— Ethan Walter (@Walternating) June 7, 2014
Mourdock did not rule out another run for office following his address but anticipates being back in Darmstadt after his time serving as treasurer is up. He said the reception he received at the convention was humbling and he has several national public policy issues he wants to address. He said a national think tank has talked to him about possibly working for them.
“I’ve long said my car could break down anywhere in Indiana and I wouldn’t have to walk more than a mile to a house of a friend,” Mourdock said, “and today I sensed that again.”
Associated Press reporter Tom LoBianco contributed to this report.
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