Calls continue to grow for the newest member of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to resign after remarks were made Tuesday citing Adolf Hitler.
15th District Republican Representative Mary Miller, who was sworn into office Sunday, takes over for John Shimkus, who decided to not seek re-election last year. On Tuesday, a Twitter user posted a video of Miller speaking at a Moms for America rally outside of the capitol in Washington D.C. Miller said that the Republican party would still be losing unless the win the hearts and minds of children: ““If we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker immediately condemned the remarks during his COVID-19 press conference on Wednesday: “I want to address the unfathomable and disgusting remarks that the new member of the Illinois Congressional Delegation made, Mary Miller. Let me be clear, Hitler got nothing right. This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics. Illinois Republicans cannot allow this to stand and must condemn this vile streak in their party. If Representative Miller was the least bit interested in history, she would visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center to learn just how wrong Hitler really was.”
A growing number of Democrats called Thursday for her to resign from office after the remarks. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, as well as U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Marie Newman, all Illinois Democrats, along with a contingent of state legislators began circulating a petition, demanded Miller step down immediately.
The rally hosts defended Miller, saying Thursday that the comments were taken out of context and that Miller was owed an apology.
Miller’s office also defended the remarks throughout Wednesday and into Thursday calling the statement a denunciation of evil and likened it to the left wing of politics in America currently via her Twitter account.
But on Friday, as she faced growing condemnation, she backtracked and expressed regret in a released statement calling herself a strong advocate of the Jewish community and said she was sincerely apologetic for any harm she caused using the reference: “Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness.”
Miller along with fellow Southern Illinois Representative Mike Bost also made good on promises of voting against the certification of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, further earning scrutiny. The only 2 Illinois legislators were among the 121 GOP House members and six senators who voted against upholding Electoral College votes on Wednesday. Miller has called the elections “tainted” and said she was “joining patriotic leaders across the nation in objecting to the Electoral College results of certain states that did not uphold the constitution.”
Miller has not commented on the violent riots leaving 5 dead that took place during the early afternoon Wednesday at the Capitol Building that delayed the election certification by several hours.