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Ohio GOP Candidate Defends Nazi Reenactment, Blames Opponent for Bad Press

4 years ago
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Republican House candidate Rich Iott, who dressed in a Waffen SS uniform for World War II reenactments, accused his opponent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) of helping to orchestrate "an attack on me that tried to brand me a Nazi."

Iott's charge came in a debate Monday night in Toledo, the heart of the 9th District in Northwest Ohio. Kaptur, who is seeking her 15th term, said she didn't even know about Iott's participation in the Wiking reenactment group until she read about it in the Toledo Blade on Sunday. (The story broke Friday on Atlantic.com.) "You've been very negative," Kaptur told Iott. "You should be taking responsibility for your own actions, not trying to blame somebody else."

Ohio Republican House candidate Rich Iott, 2nd fromr right in SS uniformIott said Kaptur "helped coordinate an attack on me that's tried to brand me a Nazi. A Nazi? Because I've participated in some historical reenactments? That saddens me because you know it's not true."

After the debate, Kaptur said she thought Iott's participation with the Wiking group -- which reenacted battles on the Eastern Front between the German SS and the Red Army -- was "just unbelievable. You have no idea how disturbing I find it. The SS were not soldiers. They were butchers. And they killed people and tortured people that I know personally." (It was not clear what Kaptur meant by the last remark, as she was born in 1946, the year after the war ended.)

Iott also had to deal with a second issue, raised by WUPW in Toledo, which asked why he had listed his employment as "soldier" on a Federal Election Commission disclosure statement for a $500 donation he made to the Republican National Committee. Iott, 58, is a suburban businessman, according to the Blade, and also a member of the volunteer Ohio Military Reserve, an auxiliary. The reserve "would not be my employer, certainly. But I don't know how that got that way," he said.

On Sunday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), No. 2 in the House GOP hierarchy, repudiated Iott and said he could not support someone who dressed in a Nazi uniform. "You know good and well that I don't support anything like that," Cantor, who is Jewish, told "Fox News Sunday."

Iott continued to insist that he didn't "see anything wrong about educating the public about events that happened. And that's the whole purpose of historical reenacting." He said he did not agree with the Nazis view or their actions against Jewish people.

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11 Comments

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Larry

I find it incredible that Tea Partyers and Republicans (little difference) commenting here are so party biased that they would criticize Marcy Kaptur and the democrats for exposing this debacle. The fact that the "excusers" would accept the lame (at best) excuse that this is a hobby is nothing more than advocation and acceptance of one of the most bigotted and vile periods in history! This isn't only about 6 million Jewish men woman and children it's about 11 million poles, gypsies, handicapped as well as others deemed unfit to live. The uniform represents the lowest commen denominator of villany and evil. To defend it as a mere celebration of those who fought bravely and died is laughable. They were cowards that marched innocent people to their death in the name of nazi purity.

October 13 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cpadmitchell

Obviously she forced him to do this so she could raise it in the campaign. She called him and convinced him he needed to dress and act like a Nazi because he is way too good an individual to think up something this discusting.

October 13 2010 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
msgusarmyret77

He is acting as a member of the Nazi unit that envaded Hungary and killed Jews. My ex-wifes father was forced to join the German Army. After three days training hw was sent to fight the Russians. He was captured the first night in battle and served as a forced laborer by the Russians until 1948. This is typical of what the Tea Party is all about. They can claim they are not racist but the more you find out about their canidates the more belief is confirmed. Not all Tea Partiers are racist but all racist belong to the Tea Party if they belong to any political group.

October 12 2010 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
ambacengineering

This doesn't say he's a Nazi. It says he is stupid and exercises poor judgement. Knowing nothing more about him, I'm will to guess he's a darling of the teaparty.

October 12 2010 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
Ric

Not a single member of Uncle Hal's large extended family is planning to vote, for this nazi reenactor, in memory of his sufferings as a POW of the nazi's. It is called freedom and each of dad's family members are planning to use that freedom to keep America free of one nazi come Nov. 2. The firefly's are gone now from Star Ave, Toledo, but I remember chasing them with cousin Ginny. They remember my dad, thanks.

October 12 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

Do we do the same to the history channel, they have people dressing up like many bad guys from history. If an actor plays a nazi then we should never let him act again. This has to be one of the worse thing I have seen. Some one has to be the bad guy in these reenactments. What a sad shape politics is in when people act people for the part they are ask to play in reinactments. Democrats and liberals are stooping to all time lows. They cannot run on issues so this is the answer.

October 12 2010 at 12:48 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
truthforfreedom

I think this has been blown way out of proportion. I would bet he never does it again, even though he has defended it. Knowing how anti Republican every liberal is, it just isn't wise to do anything that may be questioned, as everything gets blown out of proportion today and the media doesn't let up either. The more they keep the story going, the more vicious people become. Sad, state of affairs this election year.

October 12 2010 at 12:33 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
runehammer

Marcy Kaptur knows people who were tortured by Wiking Division members!? Well, I've heard some whoppers, but that one tops the cake. So long after the war, there are very few veterans who could identify the names of the German units they fought against, let alone a particular SS unit. When one considers that Wiking fought almost exclusively in the East against the Communists and Red partisans, finally surrendering to the Americans near Fürstenfeld in Austria on May 9, 1945, her yarn is all the more fantastic. Saying that the men of Wiking were not soldiers shows the true extent of Ms. Kaptur's ignorance of military history, since men of the Wiking unit were awarded some of the largest number of medals for bravery in combat of any of the units in the German Army. What would be truly interesting would be to test Ms. Kaptur's knowledge of the brutal atrocities and mutilations committed by the Red partisans against common Wehrmacht soldiers and the civilian populations of eastern Germany as the Red hordes swept through the German homeland; or for that matter, to question her “witnesses” regarding details of their allegations. Sadly, the victor is not burdened by the weight of Truth, for it is only the vanquished that must bear the weight of eternal accusations and mythmaking.

October 12 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
trb2244

All politics is local--except when it's not! Kaptor's been in office 28 years? Can you say "career politician"? So she's trying to turn a hobby into Nazi-love? And she knew nothing about the story until she read it in the paper? Right...

October 12 2010 at 12:04 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
hairhofla

Why can't the Republicans EVER take responsibility for their own positions,policies and actions? Richard Iott blames Marcy Faptur for a smear campaign when HE was the one posing for pictures and admitting his,indelicate at best,hobby? Richard Iott? If the uniform fits...wear it..Just don't expect to be representing any one...It's bad enough you're an executive of a major company in the food industry...Now I have to worry about some wingnut systemically tampering with food to go along with the other concerns

October 12 2010 at 11:57 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

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