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One day after long-time state Senator Bob Rucho made a controversial comment on Twitter comparing Obamacare to Nazis, Rucho says he is not backing down.
Rucho is defending his comment, despite a call to apologize from leaders within his own party.
Rucho wrote in a tweet Sunday afternoon: Justice Robert's pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined.
After a slew of negative feedback, Rucho wrote a follow-up tweet saying: Those that tweeted, put your thinking caps back on:"The PEN is mightier than the SWORD."Edward Bulwar-Lytton,1839. But surely you knew that
Rucho said his comparison of the Affordable Care Act to Nazis was about the financial cost, not human bloodshed. He said Twitter's limitations did not allow him to elaborate.
"There's only a limit to what you can say on Twitter, but I don't owe anyone an apology. It's their opinion," said Rucho.
Rucho represents Mecklenburg County and has been vocal about challenging North Carolina's implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Rucho is a conservative Republican whose main platforms are tax reform and fiscal policy.
"It's important for people to understand we have a huge problem ahead of us," said Rucho talking about Obamacare. He says his main concerns are millions of people who he says will lose health insurance or pay more for coverage.
He said "it's every bit as bad as fighting wars, cost-wise, to each of us."
Catawba College political science professor Dr. Michael Bitzer says Rucho cannot use the excuse of twitter's limitations because users know those limitations before they engage on the social media website.
Bitzer says Rucho has every right to exercise his First Amendment freedom, but Bitzer said the comment could cost Rucho. He said the comment does not "fit" with a Republican party trying to re-brand itself.
As for the backlash, Bitzer said Rucho should expect it. "When one puts out such a historically reprehensible comparison, one should expect the backlash the senator is getting," said Bitzer.
"He needs not only a history lesson, but a basic fundamental understanding of what political terms mean," said Bitzer.
Bitzer wasn't the only person upset with the comments.
"It's offensive and a reckless use of language and a dangerous use of language," said Rabbi Judy Schindler with Temple Beth El.
"Absolutely not necessary and it's offensive and he should apologize," said State Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg.
Rucho says he did not expect the controversy, but he says people should not stick their heads in the sand when it comes to health care policy in America.
"I just felt it was important for someone to stand up," he said.