California Republican John Fitzgerald has been appearing on neo-Nazi podcasts and denying the Holocaust.
Republicans just can’t seem to stop nominating outright racists for political office. But John Fitzgerald might be their most horrifying candidate yet.
Fitzgerald, who last month secured a spot in California’s top-two primary to take on Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier in the Bay Area-based 11th Congressional District, has been giving interviews on neo-Nazi podcasts and denying the Holocaust, as Media Matters for America documented on Tuesday.
During one interview last week on the anti-Semitic “Andrew Carrington Hitchcock Show,” Fitzgerald said that his “entire campaign, for the most part” was dedicated to “exposing” the Holocaust as fake.
Fitzgerald also gave another interview to John Friend — a neo-Nazi who has called Adolf Hitler “the greatest thing that’s happened to Western civilization.” In that exchange, Fitzgerald lauded Friend for his claim Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks and called the Holocaust “an absolute fabricated lie.”
And he appears to be doubling down on his extremism. On his campaign website — where he lists a platform laden with paranoia about the Federal Reserve, weather control, and vaccines — he published a manifesto on Tuesday entitled “Why Are Jews Pushing Mass-Immigration And Forced-Multiculturalism Throughout The U.S. And Europe?”
The California GOP tried to denounce Fitzgerald before he won the primary, releasing a statement in May saying that “those views have no home in the Republican Party.” But the mounting number of white supremacists running as Republicans makes it hard to dismiss him as an aberration.
For one thing, Fitzgerald is not even the only Holocaust denier to win a GOP congressional nomination. There’s also Arthur Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, who was nominated by Republicans for Illinois’ 3rd District despite calling the Holocaust an “international extortion racket.”
And multiple other GOP House candidates are embracing virulent racism. Seth Grossman, the nominee for New Jersey’s 2nd District, has said that diversity is “a bunch of crap,” that Kwanzaa is “a phony holiday invented … by black racists to weaken and divide Americans,” and that Democrats are causing white people to commit “mass suicide.”
Meanwhile, GOP Senate candidates are a similar horror show. In Virginia, Republicans nominated Confederate sympathizer Corey Stewart, who has called Nehlen a “personal hero” and appeared in public with the neo-Nazi behind the deadly alt-right rally in Charlottesville. And in Pennsylvania, the GOP’s Senate candidate, Lou Barletta, has a track record of cozying up to Holocaust deniers.
In the age of Trump, under a president who so casually normalizes racism, the ugliest strain of white supremacy is comfortable marching under the GOP banner. And Republicans will have to deal with the consequences.