Ben Stein has had quite a varied and multifaceted career. He’s long been a conservative pundit and policy wonk, even working as a presidential speechwriter in the White House for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also enjoyed a career in showbiz, appearing in a memorable scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as the teacher who says “Bueller.” He also hosted a Comedy Central game show called Win Ben Stein’s Money, on which Jimmy Kimmel was his sidekick in its early season.
The now-74-year-old Stein never quite gave up his career as a political pundit even when he was acting, and in more recent years, Stein has occasionally made news for shocking comments on cable news shows. And that happened again Tuesday, when Stein made some eyebrow-raising statements about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Appearing Tuesday night on Trish Regan Primetime on Fox Business, per Media Matters, Stein compared the first-term congresswoman to some of the greatest monsters in world history.
“We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising,” Stein said on the show.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 23, 2019
“And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide,” he continued. “These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things. The promise of just saying to the people do what you can within the law to make your life better and your family’s life better – that system works extremely well. Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people. It’s an incredibly good system.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been known for aggressively clapping back at those who mock her in public, but she has not yet responded to Stein as of the end of the night on Tuesday.
Stein, back in 2015, made headlines when he stated that then-President Barack Obama developed a “a real, strong, hatred of America,” which he suggested was because Obama is “part-black.”
In other AOC news, the New York congresswoman this week snagged a spot on the House Oversight Committee, per Politico. Two other Democratic freshman women, Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), are also joining the committee, which is expected to oversee high-profile investigations of the Trump administration. Ocasio-Cortez has also joined the House Financial Services Committee.