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Barton: ‘Fuhrer’ not meant to refer to Hitler

Brenda Barton

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson

Republican Rep. Brenda Barton issued a statement today saying she never compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. She said her original Facebook reference to “De Fuhrer” referred to the general German term for “leader,” and not the actual official title of Hitler.

Barton took issue with a report from the Arizona Capitol Times that quoted her original post, as well as follow-up comments in which she defended making the comparison. In her statement today, Barton tried to distance herself from the original comment.

“What I did suggest, rather directly, was that the National Park Service enforcement personnel (referring to them as ‘thugs’ for their reported behavior) were simply following the orders of ‘their leader’ – and I used the German phrase for emphasis, Der Fuhrer. I am referencing the Presidents (sic) behavior as indicated by his actions,” Barton wrote in the statement.


But in a 15 minute telephone interview with the Capitol Times on Oct. 7, Barton repeatedly and directly referenced Hitler and compared his style of governance to that of Obama.

“Comparing him to Adolf Hitler is controversial?… No, I don’t think that’s controversial at all. My point is, and I have said it already, is the imperialistic style of governance, making life difficult for the citizens and residents of America and Arizona, causing immense grief and trouble to make them suffer,” she said.

In her statement today, Barton described Obama’s abuse of authority and said she believes he was “behaving as a tyrant” for unilaterally changing the Affordable Care Act several times through waivers and exemptions.  She also claimed Obama had arrested veterans for visiting war memorials, among other actions.

“Actions speak louder than words; President Obama’s actions are what I have to base my observations of ‘tyrannical authority’ on,” she wrote in the statement.

In the Oct. 7 interview, Barton emphasized she made the comparison because Obama has dictated beyond his authority and abused his power, not because he is a mass murderer.

“I’m not saying they’re going to start shooting people, that’s not what I’m saying – please don’t go there – I’m talking about how it is functioning, how it is making decisions, how this federal entity is working and functioning against the states,” she said.

When asked if Obama’s actions were an abuse of power on the level of Nazi Germany, Barton responded: “Like I said, it got your attention to run the comparison. You have historical documents, you can run a comparison between the government during the time of Germany. Well, don’t forget Italy, and don’t forget Pol Pot (the infamous dictator in Cambodia). We have a lot of examples of how a federalized nationalized government begins to take a grip on their citizens. We have to say no… I think we are on a slippery slope of losing a constitutional republic.”

The original Capitol Times story incorrectly paraphrased Barton as referring to the United States as a “constitutional democracy” instead of a constitutional republic.

Barton did not return a follow up call for comment.


  1. Ms. Barton, you can quit trying to make excuses for your tasteless and insulting remarks about our President. Frankly, the way things are going, he is going to be around long after your 15 minutes of fame are over, so just get over yourself. This voter is far from impressed.

  2. We are not buying it haus frau. You can join Mammy Yokum Brewer and her bony finger.

  3. Führer (/ˈfjʊərər/; German pronunciation: [ˈfyːʁɐ]), alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available) is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler. The word Führer in the sense of guide remains common in German, but because of its strong association with “”Nazi Germany, it comes with some stigma and negative connotations when used as the meaning of leader. The word Leiter is therefore used instead.
    In other languages, the word is used “almost exclusively” as the epithet for Adolf Hitler, as it was the name Hitler gave to himself.
    Also a note to Ms. Barton – it is correctly “der” and not “De.” Either way, it seems like she is trying to do a little back-pedaling, but in the least apologetic way as possible, so she can continue to play up to her hard-core supporters. Her musings are little more than misguided opinions, and not based on “facts” as she would like people to believe.

  4. As a native German, I can weigh on this. Barton is blowing smoke into the faces of those not familiar with the German language. “Fuhrer” (my computer won’t display the proper umlaut) is NOT a general term for “leader” in German. It can only refer to Hitler, with the exception of “guide” when talking about a tour guide, for example. If the word is used in any political context, it only refers to Hitler, and any German speaker knows that. This is a pathetic excuse. In doing this, Barton puts herself, the state and her party to shame worldwide.

  5. I meant to say, “weigh in,” of course.

  6. Fine, Rep. Barton. Joseph Goebbels would be proud of your spin. and that is not a Nazi reference either, according to your rules.

  7. Why lie, Mrs. Barton? What could it possibly gain you? Do you imagine that your constituents enjoy being lied to? And if you’ll lie about this, when everyone can see the truth, what won’t you lie about?

  8. I think he is a mass murderer. He has murdered our country, he is responsible for allowing CPS to murder children, he has murdered the American dream, he has murdered the Constitution, he has murdered our freedom. Boy one could go on and on and on.

  9. Concerned Citizen

    #4 Daniel Stolte, Thank you for your informed factual answer. You see how the lawmakers deceive the people. This is the tip of the iceberg. They write laws with no knowledge or law or the U.S. Constitution. Content to spend years of taxpayers’ dollars in wasteful litigation until finally they are proven wrong once again. I think Rep. Barton meant to describe Arizona and its “leadership” where the real problems exist.

    My German friends are horrified at what they see happening in Arizona and say this is what it looked like on the rise to Hitler’s power. People shopping, dining in restaurants and enjoying coffee shops, ignorant of the reality of what Hitler was doing. As long as it wasn’t them that was being ethnically cleansed, then it didn’t matter.

    Wake up folks. We need to vote these kind of lawmakers out of office. The ignorance and intolerance is shameful.

  10. Concerned Citizen

    Destruction of lives and wasting millions of taxpayers dollars on your hatred and bias…. shameful.

    Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce, Tom Horne Lose (Again) on SB 1070, This Time On Harboring Provision

    “I should mention that though the Ninth’s ruling “upheld” the District Court’s preliminary injunction against the harboring provision, the effect, according to the ACLU’s Dan Pochoda, is essentially that of a permanent injunction.
    That is, unless our bumbling AG appeals and the Supreme Court overrules the Ninth.

    Um, don’t bet the double-wide on the latter.

    So why my hellish admonition above toward Horne, Brewer, Coughlin (the guy who told Brewer to sign 1070), et al.?

    ‘Cause these nudniks deserve some punishment for wasting money on 1070’s hateful enterprise, this particular portion of which sought to put ministers and good Samaritans behind bars for giving undocumented parishioners and fellow children of god a place to sleep or ride to the supermarket.”

  11. Let’s see. Who, exactly, shut down the government, which in turn meant that hundreds of thousands of federal employees and government contractors and subcontractors would stop working and the ripple effect would touch millions of lives? Including closing national parks and memorials to the public? It was the House Republicans. Plain and simple.

  12. Sounds to me that the “lady” needs a doctor who deals in sanity cases.

  13. Barton, it never fails me how stupid you Republicans can be. You insult a man that is trying to do something good for this country, but you and your mafia cronies only what what they can steal from the American people. What has the Republicans come up with that will benefit this country. More tax cuts for the rich. We have had that all during the Bush years and it has not done a thing for this country. You don’t represent the people you represent Rush Limbaugh.

  14. Oh my, listen to the liberals getting their panties all twisted over some heated rhetoric. It isn’t like THEY didn’t call GWB “Hitler”. When he was serving, right? It isn’t like THEY didn’t call republicans “terrorists” who have “bombs strapped to their chests”… Right? So you whiny hypocrites get bent out of shape when a little of your own bile gets thrown back at you? EAT IT… Along with your “dear leader” who thinks he is our emperor… I find the senators comments…ACCURATE.

  15. And just how did Hitler come to power and stay in power? He had to have his minions, his blind supporters, just as Obama does. These people who defend Obama and chastise Rep. Barton are no different that Hitler’s henchmen.

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