Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone compares fight against inequality to Nazis, issues apology

By Daniel S Levine,

Another billionaire is facing criticism for comparing the rhetoric against the growing class inequality in the U.S. to Nazi Germany. This time, it is Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, who has since apologized for the comment.

During an interview with Politico, Langone said that he hopes the populist rhetoric is not working against the rich. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany,” he told the site. “You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

Langone sent an apology to The New York Daily News, saying that his comments “were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society.”

He continued, “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.”

Langone has made political contributions, raising and donating money for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor’s office said that Langone has “apologized for using inappropriate words.”

The authors of the Politico piece noted that Langone did not hesitate for a second when bringing up Nazi Germany. His comments are similar to venture capitalist Tom Perkins’ remarks, which he has also never really backed away from.



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