Discussing local taxes, Catsimatidis makes an unexpected Hitler reference

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Here's that exchange between billionaire businessman and Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and New York 1 reporter Josh Robin, about taxes.

Catsimatidis: "We shouldn't punish any one group, whether we're punishing the people that are wealthy; New York is for everybody. It's for the poor, it's for the middle class it's for the wealthy. We can't punish any one group and chase them away. Hitler punished the Jews. We can't have punishing the 2 percent group right now. We can't have —"

Robin: "Wait a second. You see raising taxes as the same as putting people in gas chambers?"

Catsimatidis: "No, no. I didn't say that."

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Robin: "I'm just trying to understand what you're saying."

Catsimatidis: "We cannot pick any group and punish that group. I think the rich should pay more in taxes. I agree with that 100 percent. But everyone should feel the pain a little bit."

UPDATE:Catsimatidis released the following statement:

I am the religious chairman of the Greek Orthodox Church of the World. I believe in religious freedom. One of the worst things that ever happened was what Hitler did to six million Jews.

Its ludicrous to suggest I would speak of the greatest human tragedy with disrespect.

I don’t believe any one group should be singled out for punishment or taxes or any other different treatment. People should be treated like equal people. Citizens should be treated like equal citizens. After all this is America, which was founded by people who escaped persecution because of who they were and what they were.