Indiana congressional candidate Tony Zirkle defends speech at Nazi meeting

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Indiana congressional candidate Tony Zirkle defended his decision to appear at a Nazi meeting. Zirkle, a personal injury lawyer, is running in the United States Republican Party primary for Indiana's 2nd congressional district.

Zirkle initially created controversy when he gave a speech to the American National Socialist Workers Party on April 20, Adolf Hitler's birthday. Photos of the event show a picture of Hitler in the background with a United States flag on one side of the podium and a Nazi flag on the other side and the words "Happy Birthday" on the table in front. In the speech, Zirkle asserted that the pornography industry was run by Jews.

In defending his remarks, Zirkle explained that he saw the location as a valid opportunity to preach his anti-pornography, Christian message and that he would be willing to talk anywhere and noted that he had spoken on an African American radio station. Zirkle also defended his claimed that Jews were involved in pornography. He claimed that in the past male porn stars were generally Jewish but they were now black but the female stars were young white women. Zirkle further asserted that now Jews owned and ran the pornography industry. On his campaign website Zirkle posted a list of links, including a link to Jew Watch which he said backed up views.

When asked if he agreed with the Nazis Zirkle said that he did not know enough about their beliefs to give an opinion.

Both Republican and Democrats have condemned Zirkle's remarks.

Zirkle had earlier created controversy when he suggested considering bringing back segregation between whites and blacks.