Senate President Apologizes for Hitler Remarks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Senate President Apologizes for Hitler Remarks

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller apologized Friday to anyone he may have offended for referring to Adolf Hitler while disputing comments by the state's governor about the number of tax increases passed in recent years.

Miller, a Democrat, was responding to statements made by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that Maryland lawmakers approved more than 40 tax increases in the last eight years.

"Hitler said that the bigger lie you tell the more easily it's believed. I'm certainly not equating anyone with Adolf Hitler, but this 48 tax increases over the past eight years is total horse s---," Miller told reporters.

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Hogan, said the Senate president's comment indicated he needed a better argument.

"A lot of people think if you have to play the 'Hitler card' in order to make your case, you probably need a better argument," Mayer said. "Governor Hogan believes, just like the overwhelming majority of Marylanders believe, that increasing taxes 40 times in eight years is nothing to be proud of and one of the major reasons our state continues to struggle economically. That said, there is never a dull moment with Senate President Miller in the State House."

Miller released a statement later in the day.

"As I said at the time, I was not equating the governor with Hitler, nor pulling the 'Hitler Card,'" Miller said. "The purpose of my comment was to simply illustrate the absurdities of the attacks on Maryland's economy. I truly apologize to anybody who was offended by my comments."

The comments reflect lingering frustration between Democrats and the new Republican governor, who angered Democrats in his State of the State speech this month for describing Maryland's economy as "floundering" due to high taxes, over-regulation and an anti-business attitude. Hogan's campaign focused almost entirely on economic issues, particularly tax increases approved in the last eight years. Hogan's victory came in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin.

Hogan and Miller have met privately since the speech. They also attended a University of Maryland basketball game together this week.

Frustration by Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, has played out in delayed votes in the Senate to confirm Hogan's Cabinet appointees. Hogan's speech was specifically cited as a reason why a vote was delayed for a week by the Senate, so senators could take more time to make sure the nominees were up to the jobs. They were approved a week later in a unanimous vote this month.

A hearing on other Cabinet nominees this week was extended to Monday.

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