Home Depot founder half-apologizes for comparing income inequality fight to Nazi Germany

Home Depot founder Ken Langone has partially apologized for comparing the effort to reduce income inequality to Nazi Germany.

Langone made the initial comment in a Politico story published Tuesday, saying of the populist appeals: “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

The billionaire, in a statement shared with the New York Daily News, offered a somewhat-tempered apology, saying that he apologizes "if my choice of words was inappropriate."

"My remarks were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society," he said. "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 is the second wealthy businessman in recent weeks to compare the income inequality battle to Nazi Germany. Venture capitalist Tom Perkins has called the effort a "progressive Kristallnacht."

Perkins has not backed down from his comment, also saying wealthy people should get more votes.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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