Ken Langone found himself backtracking over comments he made comparing efforts to reduce income inequality to Nazi Germany.
In a Politico article on the mood among Wall Street's leaders, the Home Depot founder echoed comments made by billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins comparing the Occupy Wall Street movement with the 1938 Kristallnacht attacks on Jews.
“I hope it’s not working,” Langone said of the efforts of Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul to shift the GOP's priorities to a more populist message. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”
Nazi comparisons never go over well, and this one was no exception, with calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to repudiate Langone's comments and even return campaign donations.
"My remarks were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society," Langone said in a statement. "If my choice of words was inappropriate -- and they well may have been that -- I extend my profound apologies to anyone and everyone who I may have offended."
[Politico] [New York Daily News]