CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An international Jewish human rights group is condemning remarks by West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate John Raese.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center says it was inappropriate for Raese to equate anti-smoking laws with the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
A video of an April 12 appearance posted on Youtube shows the Morgantown Republican criticizing his home county's indoor smoking ban. He said requiring stickers on buildings declaring them smoke-free is like how "Hitler used to put a Star of David on everybody's lapel."
The Wisenthal Center on Thursday said the remark betrays an ignorance of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis and demonstrates callousness to the millions of Jews they murdered.
The Morgantown Republican said he does not care about the reaction by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and defended his statement as "reciting history." The state Democratic Party's chairman also criticized the comment.