By Eugene Scott
May 22, 2016
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is standing by a recent comment he made likening Donald Trump's vow to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S. to Kristallnacht, an infamous incident during the Holocaust.
Weld, who is seeking to become the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate, told The New York Times on Thursday that Trump's plan to remove the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S. reminded him of "Kristallnacht," or the "Night of Broken Glass."
"I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear (Trump's plan), honest," Weld told the Times.
The 1938 pogrom against European Jewry occurred when anti-semitic mobs burned synagogues, destroyed Jewish-owned stores and killed scores of Jews, but not in Warsaw, as stated by Weld.
"Is that a little strong, you think, to talk about the Holocaust?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked Weld in an interviewaired Sunday on "State of the Union."
"No, I don't think so. I served five years on the U.S. Holocaust Commission by appointment of President George W. Bush," Weld said. "I'm absolutely certain that, as we said in those years, if we don't remember, we absolutely will forget."
"And you got to forget a lot of things to think it's a good idea to round up and deport 11 million people living peaceably, most of them working in America, in the middle of the night," Weld added. "No, not the United States. China, maybe. Not the United States."
Gary Johnson, who is seeking the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination and is running with Weld, said on Saturday he wouldn't have made the Holocaust reference but defended the sentiments behind the remark.
"What are we going to do? Are we going to go in these homes and take these people out of their homes? Come on. He made that reference. I don't make that reference, but it's crazy. It's off the charts," Johnson told CNN's Victor Blackwell on "CNN Newsroom."
Weld told Tapper he and Johnson hope to offer fiscally conservative voters another option in the 2016 election. But he said he has not spoken to former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney or other party leaders who are looking for a third-party candidate to run against Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, who is distrusted by many conservatives.
"I want to make sure we've got the building blocks of a national campaign all set up before we go around asking others for help," Weld said. "I think a little bit of fundraising would probably be the first order of business to make sure we could staff this out."
"I wouldn't ask another politician to endorse our ticket until I thought I had a winning proposition for them," Weld added.
Tapper also asked Weld if he was concerned that a major libertarian bid could split conservative votes and send Hillary Clinton to the White House.
"No, it's not a concern at all. I think we have our positions. We're going to press them," Weld said. "I'd like to ideally nudge the Democrats toward the economic center, get them away from excessive spending. I would like to get the Republicans to get away from their anti-abortion stance, their queasiness with gays and lesbians being able to live openly and married and peaceably."
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