Barack Obama compared to Hitler and Lenin in Tea Party billboard
A roadside billboard created by a branch of the Tea Party in Iowa comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin has been condemned by other groups in the movement.
The North Iowa Tea Party began displaying the sign in Mason City last week. It shows photographs of Mr Obama, the German Nazi leader and Russian communist with the statement: "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive."
The words "Democratic Socialism" are featured over Mr Obama's picture, over Hitler's photo is "National Socialism" and over Lenin's head is "Marxist Socialism." The word "Change" – Mr Obama's campaign slogan – is included on each photo.
North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson said the sign highlighted what the group argues is Mr Obama's support for socialism.
Placards with similar messages have been discouraged from tea party events after drawing negative publicity. Pictures of the president daubed with a Hitler moustache were commonly seen during the early days of the movement in protest at his health care reform.
Shelby Blakely, a spokesman for the national Tea Party Patriots, said the sign was not appropriate. She said her group opposed any such comparisons.
John White, state coordinator of the Iowa Tea Party movement, said such signs were distasteful. But he told Radio Iowa that he believed that everything Mr Obama had done was in "lock-step" with what Hitler did in his day.
The White House declined to comment.