Responding to growing denunciation of his controversial remarks, state Senator Perry Clark, D-Louisville, is defending a letter he wrote that compared President Barack Obama to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler for agreeing to the debt ceiling compromise.
The outspoken state lawmaker claims he was only calling attention to the need for stronger reforms on Wall Street and that he is sounding an alarm about attempts by bankers to destroy the U.S. economy.
Last week, Clark called for the president to step down or face impeachment over the debt ceiling legislation that passed August 2. In a letter posted to the website of former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, the state lawmaker, who represents parts of south Louisville, said the debt limit bill is “unconstitutional” and a “direct echo” of legislation that handed power to the Nazi dictatorship.
Denying that he compared Mr. Obama to Hitler, Clark says his comments were intentionally provocative in order to bring attention to the country’s economic crisis and the lax regulation of the U.S. banking system.
“I did that purposefully to upset people. I wanted them angry, I wanted them thinking, I meant for it to be brash and I meant for it to be incendiary,” he says. ” People have to think about where we are.”
Last summer, President Obama signed a bill that put new restrictions on U.S. banks. Known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the law put additional regulations on banks, credit-rating agencies and hedge funds.
But Clark says that is not enough and he advocates the Banking Act of 1933 be reinstated.
“And what the president has got to do is not side with these international banksters (sic), this Wall Street group that is raping this nation,” says Clark. “Absolutely, Obama has got to side with the people. He’s got to work on getting the regulations to the banking and the securities reinstated.”
Other Democratic lawmakers have denounced the comments and said the Hitler comparison stepped over the line. Asked about the connection between the Obama administration and Hitler regime, Clark bristled at the accusation and denied making a direct connection.
Besides being a prominent state Senator in the General Assembly, Clark is also a legislative chairman in the local party and the group’s by-laws mandate those chairs pledge to support the party nominee.
Clarence Yancey, who serves as the party’s 43rd legislative district chair, believes Clark should step down from that position because they take an oath to support the nominee.
Yancey also suggested the state Senator leave the Democratic Party altogether and support LaRouche, who is considered by many political observers to be a conspiracy theorist. On several occasions, for example, LaRouche has declared the attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job” and attempted coup d’état.
Asked about whether he agrees with LaRouche on issues outside of economic policies, Clark would not comment. When pressed specifically on if the 9/11 terror attacks were committed by agents within the federal government, he gave a coded answer.
“I think anybody who thinks we have the whole story on 9/11 is sadly mistaken,” says Clark.
Top Democrats in the state Senate have discussed the controversial remarks, but caucus leaders won’t say if any disciplinary action against Clark will be taken. Asked about possible censure, state Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer said caucus leaders have discussed the remarks amongst themselves, but won’t discuss the matter further.
Clark says he’s simply holding the president accountable to the poor who have been hurt by the recession and maybe the president should switch parties, adding Mr. Obama isn’t the official nominee until the Democratic convention.
“The message got lost and they attacked the messenger. That is what’s going on. That’s what always happens with little people and little minds. No one has addressed Glass-Steagall. No one has addressed the lack of leadership from the very top to take on these financiers, who I think are wrecking the place,” he says.
For the full interview, listen below.