This morning, Donald Trump made a counterintuitive comparison in order to endear himself to his seething reactionary base: I am like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the famously big-government president who was described as a socialist in his day, he said. To quell his supporters’ fears, he clarified that he wasn’t talking about the good parts of FDR—just the one really, really bad part.
The answer came, improbably enough, after George Stephanopoulos asked Trump how he felt about the increasingly common Hitler comparisons thrown his way after his proposal to ban Muslims from entering America. Trump objected, claiming that he’s less like Hitler than he is like FDR. That’s not necessarily comforting news for America’s xenophobes, so he clarified: not the aggressive government spending to employ millions of people on public works projects FDR; the round up all the Japanese Americans into internment camps FDR. Breathe easy, Trump Nation!
From Trump’s Good Morning America interview:
You’re increasingly being compared to Hitler. Does that give you any pause at all?
No, because what I’m doing is no different than what FDR—FDR’s solution for Germans, Italians, Japanese, many years ago—
So you’re for internment camps?
This is a president who is highly respected by all—he did the same thing. If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse. He was talking about the Germans—because we’re at war. We are now at war. We have a president who doesn’t want to say it, but we’re at war.
I’ve gotta press you on that. You’re praising FDR there—I take it you’re praising the setting up of internment camps for Japanese during World War II.
No I’m not, no I’m not. Take a look at presidential proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527, having to do with alien Germans, alien Italians, alien Japanese. They stripped them of their naturalization proceedings, they went through a whole list of things. They couldn’t go five miles from their homes. They weren’t allowed to use radios, flashlights.
Take a look at what FDR did many years ago, and he’s one of the most highly presidents—I mean, respected by most people. They name highways after him.