Harry Reid: Hitler quip misread, aides say

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In putting the coal-power industry in the same sentence as Adolf Hitler, Harry Reid didn't mean to suggest the utilities are as bad as the Nazis -- just that they act like them.

"I never said they were as bad as Hitler," the senator said in an interview last week. "I said what they're doing is creating the big lie that coal is clean, and that's not true. That (tactic) goes back to the Nazi era, and I'm not saying they're following anything to do with the Nazis, but that's where it started."

The topic was raised by a comment Reid made to the Las Vegas Sun in a piece that was posted on the newspaper's Web site on Tuesday.

The Nevada Democrat said the industry was making its case on the basis of "the old Hitler lie: when you say things long enough, people start believing them."

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