CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General candidate Dan Greear on Thursday demanded that Attorney General Darrell McGraw apologize to West Virginians for his offensive remarks comparing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Adolf Hitler.
"The comments were outrageous and offensive," Greear said in a press release. "Sadly, in Darrell McGraw's convoluted mind, the U.S. Chamber asking people to vote against him is equivalent to Adolf Hitler's regime.
"Fortunately, Jewish leaders in our state have already responded in more eloquent fashion than I ever could. But, McGraw offended me, he offended those descendents of the Holocaust, and he offended every West Virginian with his ridiculous, outrageous remarks."
On Wednesday, McGraw made the comments to The Record when asked about the 2008 State Liability Systems Ranking Study, which was released Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
For the third consecutive year, the Mountain State was ranked 50th in the study, conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. The study is a national sample of in-house general counsel or other senior corporate attorneys to explore how reasonable and balanced the tort liability system is perceived to be by U.S. business.
The Record is owned by affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"I do subscribe to the idea that the means and methods the National Chamber uses to influence public opinion are like those Hitler used," McGraw said while being interviewed in his state Capitol office. "Exaggeration and propaganda of all sorts."
Greear said McGraw's comments again prove what he's been saying and hearing as he campaigns across the state.
"We continue to talk to the people of West Virginia," Greear said. "And the more people we talk to, the more evident it is that Darrell McGraw must go. Unfortunately, most people will probably shrug their shoulders and ask 'what's new?'
"An off-the-wall, offensive remark out of the mouth of Darrell McGraw is now commonplace. He is an embarrassment to the office of Attorney General and to the people of West Virginia."
Greear commended the response of the Anti-Defamation League, which called the comment "appalling."
He also praised the remarks of Rabbi Bar-Yaacov of Charleston's Temple Israel who stated, "The U.S. Chamber ... they're not taking away people's civil rights, they are not coming in at night and arresting people and torturing them. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not committing genocide. It's not rounding up people and making them into slaves."
"Obviously, McGraw's comments were not only offensive, they were hurtful, especially to people like Rabbi Bar Yaacov who lost grandparents, uncles and aunts in the Holocaust," Greear said. "Mr. McGraw should apologize immediately for his reckless comments."