Georgia Congressman Drew Ferguson was lambasted on social media Wednesday after his campaign tweeted a D-Day photo that depicted Nazi soldiers rather than American troops.
The West Point Republican’s campaign tweeted the black-and-white picture shortly before 7 a.m., which included the soldiers in front of a tank that featured the Iron Cross, a German military symbol.
“The heroism of our own troops … was matched by that of the armed forces of the nations that fought by our side … they absorbed the blows … and they shared to the full in the ultimate destruction of the enemy,” the first-term congressman tweeted, quoting President Harry Truman.
The posting was deleted shortly after a top staffer from the progressive super PAC American Bridge, which bills itself as “holding Republicans accountable,” replied that the troops were Nazi solders.
Ferguson spokesman Dan McLagan said the image was selected by an intern at a digital media company that works with the congressman’s campaign.
“As a patriot and the father of a daughter serving in the Navy, Drew is pretty furious about it,” McLagan said in an e-mail. “We deleted the post immediately but the sentiment of heartfelt gratitude and reverence for the men who charged into withering fire on those beaches 74 years ago can never be erased from our hearts.”
Members of Congress frequently employ staff members to handle their social media accounts – especially younger aides who might not immediately recognize the outward curve of the German helmets. But the gaffe still stings given that events such as D-Day and Pearl Harbor remain important cultural and historical markers, especially among older voters.
There’s also a tinge of irony. Ferguson’s 3rd Congressional District is home to Newnan, the quiet community which was the site of a neo-Nazi rally in April. Turnout for the event, organized by a Detroit-based fascist organization, was small, our colleagues reported at the time.
Ferguson condemned the rally.
“Every citizen has the constitutional right to express their First Amendment freedoms to free speech and protest, but the racist views of neo-Nazis are completely abhorrent,” he said ahead of the event.