Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) refused Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) call to cancel an erev Yom Kippur fundraiser in the home of a donor who collects Nazi memorabilia, in a spat that saw political pundit Bill O’Reilly wading into the fray.
The fundraiser was held the evening of Sept. 22 in the Texas home of Harlan Crow, a multimillionaire real estate developer, whose collection includes two paintings by Adolf Hitler and an autographed copy of Mein Kampf.
In the hours prior to Kol Nidre, Wasserman Schultz called on Rubio to cancel the event. She said the choice of location was “appalling” and the timing of the fundraiser with the Jewish Day of Atonement added “insult to injury.”
“Holding an event in a house featuring the artwork and signed autobiography of a man who dedicated his life to extinguishing the Jewish people is the height of insensitivity and indifference,” said Wasserman Schultz. “There’s really no excuse for such a gross act of disrespect.”
She added: “It is astounding that the presence of these items that represent horror for millions of Jews the world over would not stop Mr. Rubio or anyone on his team in their tracks when planning this event.”
Fox News commentator O’Reilly came to Rubio’s defense in the Sept. 24 broadcast of his show, The O’Reilly Factor.
“By attacking Rubio using the Holocaust, the head of the DNC has shamed herself and her party,” O’Reilly said as he slammed Wasserman Schultz. “She should resign immediately.”
O’Reilly said he had been to Crow’s home before and described the collection as museum quality. He said “both good and evil are represented in an educational way.” In addition to Nazi artifacts, Crow reportedly owns letters from President Thomas Jefferson, items belonging to President Abraham Lincoln and a statue of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
A fundraiser was held in Crow’s home for Mitt Romney in 2012, when he was the GOP candidate for president.
Rubio, who made an appearance on O’Reilly’s show, defended Crow, saying he is “not a Nazi sympathizer.”
Referring to her support of the Iran nuclear pact, the senator said, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be more concerned that she decided to side with her president, that she decided to side with her party and put Israel in danger.”