The Ontario New Democrats are standing by a candidate whose online comments, particularly about Nazis, drew fiery criticism from political rivals.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath went on the offensive, hammering the Liberals for highlighting excerpts from the podcasts of Anthony Marco.
The Liberals have demanded that the NDP dump the Niagara-area candidate for his remarks.
“This is nothing more than an attempt to smear him,” Horwath said Tuesday at a plowing match. “This is one of those times when the negative campaigning is taking over. Frankly, I’m tired of it.”
The Liberals trained their focus on a year-old podcast by Marco, in which the Hamilton teacher said: “For some people, the politics of Nazi Germany might be their religion. And just as I can’t condemn other people’s religion ... I don’t agree with them, but you can’t stop somebody from believing in something. “You’re the one who is pretty messed up if you’re going to devote your entire life trying to convince somebody not to believe what they believe.”
The NDP accused the Liberals of taking the comments out of context. They were made within a discussion on burning books, and how Marco would never advocate setting a printed work aflame — not even ones he disliked.
But that didn’t stop the Liberals from demanding his ouster as the NDP candidate for Niagara West-Glanbrook. The riding is held by Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.
“(Marco) needs to go,” said Bernie Farber — Liberal candidate for Thornhill and former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
In a statement, Marco said “any suggestion that I would excuse or downplay” Nazi atrocities “is offensive.” He ripped the Liberals for their “smear-style politics.”...
Marco would never advocate burning books. But it seems "Burny," alas, still would.