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GOP Governor Candidate John Cox Shares Story Comparing Long California DMV Waits To Holocaust

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

John Cox, Republican candidate for California governor, meets with DMV clients in Sacramento to draw attention to long wait times.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Republican gubernatorial candidate and businessman John Cox told a story during a California DMV visit on Wednesday that compared the much-criticized long lines and waits to surviving concentration camps during the Holocaust.

In audio at the event recorded by CapRadio, Cox can be heard introducing himself to a woman at the Sacramento DMV office.

“How long have you been waiting,” he asks the woman, who responds “close to an hour.”

Cox then relays a story of a conversation with a man he met at a DMV in Southern California:

“You know, I met a Holocaust survivor in Long Beach. He survived concentration camps, and he said this was worse. He’s 90 years old and he had to wait four hours down in Long Beach. Can you imagine that?” Cox says.

Hear John Cox relay the story

Campaign spokesman Matt Shupe said Cox mistold the story.

“John isn’t saying it was worse than the Holocaust. The guy didn’t say it was worse than the Holocaust,” Shupe said. “He was saying that it reminded him of pre-war Germany” when Jews had to wait in lines to be processed.”

“In no way does he mean this as a slight to the Jewish community,” Shupe added. “He misspoke. It’s very unfortunate. But it’s nothing more than that.”

The campaign provided audio of Cox, which aired on Los Angeles radio station KFI earlier this week, when Cox recounted the same conversation in a different way.

“I met a guy who survived the Holocaust. 90 years old. And he tells me that this reminds him of what it was like in pre-war Germany and Latvia,” Cox said in that audio.

The DMV is under scrutiny for hours-long waits and mismanagement.

Cox is visiting DMV offices throughout California and criticizing Democratic lawmakers for voting against an audit of the agency.

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Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

Andrew Nixon

Multimedia Producer

Multimedia Producer Andrew Nixon illustrates CapRadio’s Web content with visual journalism including still photos and videos. He works in the news and information department, and on CapRadio’s documentary program, “The View From Here.”  Read Full Bio 

Nick Miller

Senior Editor, News & Features

Nick Miller is an award-winning editor with more than 15 years of newsroom experience. Previously he was editor-in-chief of the East Bay Express in Oakland, and worked as an editor for 12 years at the Sacramento News & Review.  Read Full Bio 

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