Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone is taking back his original take-back. Joining the list of rich old guys worried they’re being singled out by politicians for having money the way Nazis blamed Jews, Langone said recently that “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.” Predictably, he then kind of apologized. Even more predictably, he pretty much meant what he said the first time.
“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,” said Langone in his expert non-apology.
But speaking with Capital New York, Langone, who heads the Republicans for Cuomo fund-raising group, explained, “My connection was we never want to put ourselves in a position as a nation where we pit group against group. It had nothing to do with de Blasio or Cuomo or the president or anybody else. I only cited the election that took place in 1933. And I only said the product of that election was the election of an evil horrible human being!” (Cuomo’s Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, was one of many to condemn the original remarks.)
“I simply said just because we’re a democracy doesn’t mean you can’t have bad results,” said Langone. “That’s all! I stand on what I said.”
“However they want to interpret it, there is no way that what I said could be misinterpreted,” he added, confusingly. “If you have dirtiness in your mind, that’s your problem, not mine.” If a Nazi metaphor makes you think about the millions killed, that’s on you.