Home Depot Founder Langone Apologizes for Use of Nazi Analogy

Home Depot founder Ken Langone is backing away from his comparison of populist political appeals to Nazi Germany.

Home Depot founder Ken Langone is backing away from his comparison of populist appeals to Nazi Germany. Credit: Screenshot from Fox News on YouTube
Home Depot founder Ken Langone is backing away from his comparison of populist appeals to Nazi Germany. Credit: Screenshot from Fox News on YouTube

Home Depot founder Ken Langone – who said he’s worried about the populist appeal of Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential race -- has partially apologized for comparing the effort to reduce the income gap to Nazi Germany.

The home improvement chain is headquartered in Smyrna. 

Langone made the initial comment in a Politico story published Tuesday, saying of populist rhetoric against the wealthy: “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

The billionaire, in a statement shared with the New York Daily News, offered a somewhat-tempered apology, saying that he apologizes "if my choice of words was inappropriate."

"My remarks were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society," he said. "If my choice of words was inappropriate -- and they well may have been that -- I extend my profound apologies to anyone and everyone who I may have offended."

Langone, a big GOP donor and prominent backer of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), once criticized the Pope and also siad he hoped former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's "private hell is hotter than anybody else's," says the Huffington Post.

Langone is the second wealthy businessman in recent weeks to compare the income inequality battle to Nazi Germany, reports The Washington Post. Venture capitalist Tom Perkins has called the effort a "progressive Kristallnacht."

He has so far stood by his comment, also saying wealthy people should get more votes.

Harry Ball March 20, 2014 at 02:30 PM
The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established in 1948 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a continent ravaged by war. By making individual governments recognize the interdependence of their economies, it paved the way for a new era of cooperation that was to change the face of Europe. In today’s globalized world, U.S. corporations are increasingly at a competitive disadvantage. They currently face the highest statutory corporate income tax rate in the world at 39.1 percent. This overall rate is a combination of our 35 percent federal rate and the average rate levied by U.S. states. Corporations headquartered in the 33 other industrialized countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), however, face an average rate of 25 percent. Even corporations in high-tax European countries such as Belgium (34 percent), France (34.4 percent), and Sweden (22 percent) face much lower rates than those in the United States. Our largest trading partners—Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom—have each cut their corporate tax rates over the past few years to become more competitive.----Why are liberals trying to destroy America by acting as parasites?
Harry Ball March 20, 2014 at 02:33 PM
"These wealthy people/corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes, fair wages to workers or protect our environment." The United States has one of the most "progressive" (income redistribution) tax system in the world and the parasitic liberals still whine for more. 47% of the people in the United States payed NO income taxes.
Daniella Ruiz March 20, 2014 at 03:00 PM
when the majority of Home Despots sales are derived from products made in american factories, on american soil, made by americans, i might think kindly of every one of these corporate shills and conmen. until then, they ARE the problem, just as General Motors had factories in Nazi germany making war vehicles that helped kill american soldiers. split a company apart with some clever paperwork and then say its 'not ours' is a crime, and a despicable, fraudulent representation of life values. if these types want to 'give back' to america, they can start building factories, products and create jobs here, too bad they don't know a thing about the real world.
Harry Ball March 20, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Why make things in America if you are forced to pay outrageous taxes or have to deal with a union that pushes for ridiculous wages for unskilled labor?
Forward.... March 20, 2014 at 04:03 PM
Unions got you a 40 hour work week, 2 weeks paid vacations, child labor laws and decent wages. Unskilled labor are the CEO's of these major corporations, banks, hedge funds who get uninformed people like you to carry their water, and won't even give you a drink. The 10 most profitable corporations in this county pay less than 9% and over 2/3 don't pay federal corp. taxes what-so-ever. Some even get a refund with all of the loop holes. Union have been dismantled, that protected peoples right to fair wages. Corporations continue to profit billions of dollars, but the trickle doesn't happen, never has and won't while they have their puppets carrying their water as if one day, they're going to make you rich,rich,rich. And Harry, your Romney point about 47% of people don't pay taxes is so 2012! They don't pay federal income tax because they are the working poor and live in poverty.


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