Newly sworn-in Republican U.S. Rep. Mary Miller was under intense criticism from fellow lawmakers and others on Wednesday over comments she made during a speech in Washington, D.C., in which she invoked Adolf Hitler.
Miller’s voice was captured on video on Tuesday making the remarks, which were rebuked by Republicans and Democrats on social media Wednesday. A Miller spokeswoman confirmed she made the remarks.
“If we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future,’” Miller can be heard saying in a clip that was circulated on Twitter.
Miller, who replaced longtime U.S. Rep. John Shimkus in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District, was sworn in to her first term on Sunday. A southern Illinois farmer, Miller is a Naperville native who now hails from Oakland and is an avowed backer of President Donald Trump.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican, tweeted, “I outright condemn this garbage.”
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Freshman U.S. Rep. Marie Newman, a LaGrange Democrat who also was sworn in to her first term on Sunday, called Miller’s comments “despicable” and said Miller should be sanctioned.
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker also condemned Miller’s statements.
“Let me be clear: Hitler got nothing right. This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference. “Illinois Republicans cannot allow this to stand and must condemn this vile, evil streak in their party. If Rep. Miller was the least bit interested in history, she would visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center to learn just how wrong Hitler really was.”
Even before she took office, Miller had vowed to join a group of Republicans trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that saw Democrat Joe Biden defeat Trump. Congress convened earlier Wednesday in a joint session for what was supposed to be a ceremonial count of the Electoral College votes to cement Biden’s victory.
“I promised to stand with President Donald Trump, and I will keep that promise by objecting to the tainted election results on Grange,” Miller, who won the heavily Republican 15th District seat in the November election, tweeted last week. She replaced Shimkus, of Collinsville, who spent 12 terms in Congress and decided not to run for reelection in 2019.
The count was interrupted by chaos, however, as mob stormed the Capitol and the building was locked down.