New Obama White House advisor John Podesta told Politico that Republicans are akin to the mass suicide cult in Jonestown, and that President Obama therefore needed more power. “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” Podesta said. Jonestown was a community formed in Guyana by cult leader Jim Jones. 909 Temple members died in Jonestown, all but two poisoning themselves.
Rory Cooper, communications director for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, ripped Podesta’s comments, pointing out that innocent people were murdered in Jonestown, including Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA). Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) was shot five times. Cooper said, “This type of appalling and inflammatory rhetoric is a very troubling sign of how this White House plans to govern over the next three years."
Podesta joined the White House after spending years at the Obama- and Clinton-linked Center for American Progress. He was also a member of the Clinton White House top staff.