Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

GOP nominee for Illinois governor doubles down on Holocaust analogy

‘The Jewish community themselves have told me that I’m right,’ Darren Bailey, who is challenging Democratic incumbent J.B. Pritzker, said

Darren Bailey, the Republican nominee for Illinois governor, doubled down in a campaign stop over the weekend on a previous statement that the Holocaust “doesn’t even compare” to abortion on the scale of human atrocities. He suggested that all the rabbis he met with backed his analogy. 

In a clip of an interview published on Monday, Bailey said he doesn’t see the need to apologize for saying in a video – that was posted on Facebook in 2017 and first reported by the Forward earlier this month – that “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization.”

“The Jewish community themselves have told me that I’m right,” Bailey said. “All the people at the Chabads that we met with and the Jewish rabbis they said, ‘No, you’re actually right.’”

Rabbi Avraham Kagan, the director of government affairs for Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, told the Forward, “We don’t know who he met with and his comments do not reflect our position.”

The Republican candidate is running against Democratic incumbent J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish. Pritzker’s campaign immediately released a TV ad highlighting the Holocaust remark.

The Springfield Jewish Federation said in a statement, “Holocaust comparisons are always fraught, and inappropriate when used politically.” 

In the interview, Bailey said the Pritzker ad was timed to come out a day before he had a scheduled meeting with local Jewish leaders. “Pritzker, you know, knew that,” he said “So the timeliness was no mistake.” 

Bailey said the widespread condemnation of his remarks is frustrating “because anybody that would watch my message, the whole nine minutes of it, would understand exactly what I was saying and where I was going with this.”

Natalie Edelstein, a Pritzker campaign spokesperson, said Bailey’s comments “and his inability to apologize and take ownership of his words, are disqualifying.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.