(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., says he has no intention of apologizing for comparing Republican rhetoric with Nazi propaganda.
“I didn’t say anything that deserves an apology or requires an apology,” Cohen told ABC News. “I would never refer to Republican colleagues in an untoward way, I was talking about political propaganda.”
Cohen’s comments on the House floor – where he said Republican arguments on health care were “a big lie just like Goebbels” and “like blood libel” that led to the holocaust -- were condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
“No matter how strong one’s objections to any policy or to the tactics of political opponents, invoking the Holocaust and the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish people is offensive and has no place in a civil political discourse,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman in a statement issued in response to Cohen’s statement.
“I respect Mr. Foxman greatly, we have a little difference on how we see this,” Cohen said. “I wasn’t talking about the political philosophy or even the actions that resulted in the actions of the Holocaust, I was talking about the political propaganda, which is somewhat separate, but I understand Mr. Foxman’s sensitivities and I’m sorry that he and other people of the Jewish faith could have been offended.”
Does that mean Cohen is sorry for what he said? Not quite.
“I’m sorry that people were offended,” Cohen said. “I’m not sorry for what I said.”
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio