Max Baucus, former Ambassador to China under President Barack Obama and a former U.S. Senator from Montana, compared President Donald Trump to the 20th century Nazi leader Adolph Hitler for his rhetoric against China for the communist government’s unleashing of the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus on the U.S. and the world. Baucus also warned the U.S. will “pay a price” for criticizing China.
Baucus was U.S. ambassador to China from 2014 until 2017. A Democrat, Baucus served in the Senate from 1978 until his appointment as ambassador in 2014 by Obama. Baucus currently sits on advisory boards to the Chinese company Alibaba Group and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Baucus made his comments in an interview Wednesday with CNN International anchor Hala Gorani who appeared stunned by Baucus comparing Trump to Hitler and stammered her way through her follow-up question.
Fmr ambassador to Beijing and senator Max Baucus likens the reaction to Donald Trump’s China rhetoric today to Nazi Germany: “A little bit like Hitler in the 30s, that a lot of people knew what was going on was wrong but they didn’t stand up and say anything about it.” pic.twitter.com/m8jqt16VJ1
— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) May 6, 2020
Transcript by TGP:
Baucus: “The administration’s rhetoric is so strong against China, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s over the top. Very sad, we’re entering a kind of era which is similar to Joe McCarthy, uh, back when he was red-baiting the State Department and attacking communism. And a little bit like Hitler! In the Thirties, um that a lot of people knew what was going on was wrong. They knew it was wrong. But they didn’t stand up and say anything about it. They felt intimidated. And now in the United States if anybody says anything reasonable about China he or she feels intimidated. Afraid his head’s gonna be chopped off. And back in the Thirties in Germany there, it was very similar. People who were responsible uh, in the U.S. and especially responsible in Germany couldn’t speak up. And I worry that some of that is happening now. And it’s very dangerous. And I think it’s happening in part because the Republican administration of Donald Trump uh, realizes that the economy is not doing well probably because of the coronavirus. And, uh, they’ve therefore have to pivot. They have to blame somebody. And they’re blaming China. And it’s gonna be very difficult to get back on track after the election–whoever’s elected.”
Gorani: “Okay, uh, uh, be-before I go, I mean the comparison you’re making here between the, the current U.S. uh, atmosphere in Washington and uh, Germany in the Thirties, I mean that, that’a a very, that’s a very sss, you know, kind of, is it, is it, are you being provocative? Or do you really believe that there are parallels?”
Baucus: “I think we’re moving in that direction. Um, and I, it’s, I’m not saying we’re there yet. But there are a lot of very responsible people in America who know that this China bashing is irresponsible and we’re gonna pay a price the more it continues. That’s what I’m saying. But they’re afraid to speak up because they’re afraid that they’ll be criticized.”
In 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Max Sieben Baucus to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Peoples Republic of China. He served as Ambassador from February 21, 2014 until January 19, 2017. Ambassador Baucus formerly served as the senior United States Senator from Montana. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1978 to 2014 and was Montana’s longest serving U.S. Senator as well as the third longest tenure among those serving in the U.S. Senate.
While in the Senate, Ambassador Baucus was Chairman and Ranking Member of the powerful Senate Committee on Finance. While Chairman, he was the chief architect of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) which was signed by President Barack Obama into law March 23, 2009.
Ambassador Baucus has extensive experience in international trade. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, he led the passage and enactment of the Free Trade Agreements with 11 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Jordan, Chile, Colombia, Morocco, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore and South Korea. He also was deeply involved in orchestrating the congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000 and in facilitating China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Ambassador Baucus also served as Vice Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Taxation and as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where he led in the reauthorization of numerous Farm Bills. He was additionally selected as a member of the Senate Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Super Committee) following the financial crisis of 2008. Ambassador Baucus was also a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and chaired its Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure where he managed numerous infrastructure legislative acts and Highway Bills.
Before his election to the U.S. Senate, Ambassador Baucus represented Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1978 and represented Missoula, Montana in the Montana House of Representatives from 1973 to 1974.
Ambassador Baucus earned a bachelor’s and law degree from Stanford University.
Ambassador Baucus currently lives in Bozeman, Montana, where he and his wife, Melodee Hanes, have formed a consulting firm, Baucus Group LLC. Ambassador Baucus provides consulting services to American and Chinese businesses and serves on the Board of Directors of Ingram Micro and the Board of Advisors to Alibaba Group. He additionally serves on the External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency