A Connecticut lawmaker is standing by comments that compared Gov. Ned Lamont and his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic to Adolf Hitler.
Republican state Rep. Anne Dauphinais initially posted a comment on Facebook Thursday night that called the Democrat “King Lamont aka Hitler.”
"King Lamont aka Hitler dictating what we must inject into our bodies to feed our family!" Dauphinais commented on a post from CTNewsJunkie about the number of state employees not in compliance with the governor's vaccine/testing mandate.
Dauphinais posted a longer comment on her Facebook page Friday night that mentioned Nazi concentration camps, book burnings and other actions under Hitler, interspersed with mentions of Lamont’s mandates during the pandemic.
“This Governor, with the help of the one-party rule we have in this state right now, has taken dictatorial powers for himself for what will be almost 2 full years when this latest extension expires,” Dauphinais wrote. “Hitler too was a dictator enabled by the rule of the single Nazi party.”
Max Reiss, Lamont's communications director, said of Dauphinais' comments, "The representative's comments are disgusting, repulsive, and disrespectful to the history and memory of victims of the Holocaust. Such anti-Semitic rhetoric has no place in state government, and no place in our public discourse."
A spokesperson for Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said her office "wholeheartedly agrees" with the comments from the governor's office.
In her post Friday, Dauphinais responded to the criticism writing, "My comments were neither anti-Semitic nor factually inaccurate."
"This dictatorial madness must stop. Nonetheless, I do want to take this opportunity to not apologize but clarify to Governor Lamont, for I was not clear that I meant that he was acting like Hitler in the early 1930’s – to date, he has not called for putting the unvaccinated in camps," she added.
Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Geoff Luxenberg, who is Jewish, expressed outrage at Dauphinais' comments in a statement.
"I’m having trouble - as a Jewish elected official - with the dangerous anti-Semitic comments of Republican Rep. Anne Dauphinais. Her comments have endorsed comparing Governor Ned Lamont and his public health policies to protect us from preventable disease and death, to Hitler’s genocidal dictatorial reign. To be clear, common sense measures to protect people from preventable disease and death is not comparable to the mass murder of millions of innocent people. I had ancestors who died in the Holocaust and I can assure you - if they were here now - they wouldn’t normalize or tolerate a comparison that equates public health vaccination policy disagreements to Nazi Genocide by ill informed elected officials. This false equivalency comparing Ned Lamont to Hitler offends me, my family, and all reasonable people of all faiths, or no faith, everywhere."
House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora issued a statement about Dauphinais' comments.
“Representative Dauphinais’ outrageous comparison was disrespectful, and her comments were wholly inappropriate for the serious conversation about whether state government should mandate vaccines on workers as a condition of their employment," said Rep. Candelora.
House Speaker Matt Ritter called on Dauphinais' fellow Republicans in the General Assembly to call her out for her comments.
"This is part of a disturbing trend on the far right to abandon decency, decorum, facts and history for offensive, racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric," Rep. Ritter said in a statement.
Dauphinais’ district includes Plainfield and Killingly in eastern Connecticut.
Editor's Note: NBC CT Political Reporter Christine Stuart is the publisher and co-owner of CTNewsJunkie.