Obama re-election adviser David Axelrod has come under fire for some very odd Tweets over the past week. First, he sent out -- then removed -- a bizarre message with a link to a news story about menstruating Mormon women being barred from official ceremonies. Now, just days later, he's coming under fire for using the word "Mittzkrieg" to describe the GOP's political situation in Illinois.
He wrote, "The Mittzkrieg in Illinois isn't terribly inspiring, so turnout may lag. But the sheer volume probably has been grindingly effective." This offensive word (Mittzkrieg), of course, is a play on blitzkrieg, a German form of warfare during World War II. The direct definition of blitzkrieg means, "a swift intensive military attack, especially using tanks supported by aircraft, designed to defeat the opposition quickly."
The tweets clearly show that the political operative was speaking about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign in Illinois. But what Axelrod probably thought was a clever tweet has been taken very literally and is being denounced by at least one Jewish group. ABC News has more:
A Republican Jewish group is demanding an apology from senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod after he referred to Mitt Romney’s ad campaign in Illinois as “the Mittzkrieg.” [...]
The comment appears to compare Romney’s effort against GOP rival Rick Santorum with the blitzkrieg, a military strategy developed by the Nazis during World War II to bombard the Allies with ground and air forces. [...]
The Republican Jewish Coalition condemned the comparison of Romney’s effort to the blitzkrieg as casual and inappropriate use of Nazi imagery and demanded an apology.
It is important to note that Axelrod is Jewish, thus there is somewhat of an intriguing debate unfolding over his choice of words. The tweet, which was sent on Monday morning, is still present on his Twitter page.
Romney campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom responded to Axelrod's social media message with a tweet of his own, writing, "RJC slaps @davisazelrod for "Mittzkrieg" comment, saying 'Holocaust and Nazi imagery' inappropriate." This message accompanied a link to a statement from the Republican Jewish Coalition (see some of the other negative responses here):
“At a time when there is so much talk about the need for civility in political discourse, it is disturbing to see President Obama’s top campaign advisor casually throw Nazi imagery around in reference to a Republican candidate for President. Holocaust and Nazi imagery are always inappropriate in the political arena. Axelrod should apologize for his offensive language.
“We call on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to publicly rebuke Axelrod for his language. We hope that the National Jewish Democratic Council will join us in denouncing Axelrod's comment, as they have frequently denounced Holocaust imagery in politics in the past.”
There's no word yet on what the Obama campaign thinks about the tweet, although National Jewish Democratic Council president and CEO David A. Harris slammed the Republican response.
"Jewish Republicans’ protest to this supposed reference is too much, methinks," he said. "Their silence has been beyond deafening when actual, direct abusive Holocaust rhetoric has been invoked by key Republicans — such as Rep. Allen West recently saying that infamous Nazi Joseph Goebbels would ‘be very proud of the Democrat Party.'"