The Democratic National Committee, in what critics say is one of the lamest attacks of the 2016 cycle so far, has pounced on Republican Marco Rubio’s plans to attend a fundraiser at the house of Harlan Crow because Crow’s collection of historic artifacts includes Nazi art—but the DNC failed to mention that Crow’s mother was nearly killed by the Nazis during World War II.
“It is astounding that the presence of these items that represent horror for millions of Jews the world over, would not stop Mr. Rubio or anyone on his team in their tracks when planning this event,” DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Tuesday.
The DNC’s statement points to Crow’s ownership of “two paintings by Adolph Hitler, a signed copy of Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, and a cabinet full of place settings and linens used by the Nazi leader.”
Unmentioned, however, is that Crow is far from a Hitler admirer, and that these items are a small part of Crow’s massive collection of historical artifacts. At times, that collection has included items such as Frederick Douglass’ Bible, the doodles of President Abraham Lincoln, President George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, and statues of communist icons such as Lenin and Che Guevara.
Making the notion that Crow has any ties to Hitler even more absurd is the fact that his mother, Margaret Crow, was nearly killed by the Nazis.
She survived the sinking of the British SS Athenia, which was the first British ship attacked by the Nazi U-boats. Crow owns multiple artifacts from the SS Athenia, as well.
Schultz asked that Rubio cancel the fundraiser.
“There’s really no excuse for such a gross act of disrespect. Mr. Rubio, who by the way, represents a sizable Jewish population in our home state of Florida, should cancel this tasteless fundraiser,” said Schultz.
The Republican National Committee said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon that if Schultz really wants to be supportive of the country’s Jewish population, it should oppose the Iran deal.
“Rather than manufacture a false controversy over a collection of historic memorabilia that includes a statue of Margaret Thatcher and effects belonging to Abraham Lincoln, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have opposed the weak Clinton-Obama Iran deal that puts Israel’s safety in jeopardy,” said RNC National Press Secretary Allison Moore.
The DNC’s attack has already begun getting criticized on Twitter. Michael Ledeen, a scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote that Crow was “about as pro-Hitler as is Netanyahu.”
@RosieGray Harlan Crow is about as pro-Hitler as is Netanyahu.
— Michael Ledeen (@michaelledeen) September 21, 2015
Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski’s reaction was that the DNC must think everybody is “stupid.”
the DNC thinks you’re stupid pic.twitter.com/77MgA4NQ3m
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) September 22, 2015
The DNC has not yet responded to a request for comment on whether it stands by the attack.